Norma relacionada
Switzerland
Practice Relating to Rule 31. Humanitarian Relief Personnel
Switzerland’s Aide-Memoire on the Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict (2005) states: “I spare and respect personnel and installations as well as equipment and means of transport of … the International Red Cross, … as well as the United Nations without discrimination unless they open fire on my comrades or me.” 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Rule 7.
The Aide-Memoire further states with regards to the protective signs of the red cross and red crescent:
Correct behaviour
- Personnel, installations, material and means of transport of the medical services as well as carriers of signs or objects marked with distinctive signs must be respected and spared;
- The distinctive signs may only be used by persons entitled and only for their intended purpose.
Prohibited is/are …
- Attacks against persons or objects carrying this sign[.] 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Chart of Protective Signs.
The Aide-Memoire further states with regards to the UN:
Correct behaviour
Personnel, installations, material and means of transport of the UN as well as bearers of distinctive signs or objects marked with distinctive signs must be respected and spared.
Prohibited is/are …
- Damaging action against personnel, installations and material, as long as these are not involved in combat[.] 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Chart of Protective Signs.
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
13 Protected persons
13.1 Behaviour with regard to the wounded, sick and shipwrecked and medical and religious personnel
181 Personnel of national and international Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations are protected. They must be allowed to perform their duties without interference.
15 Methods of warfare
15.2 Prohibited methods of warfare
225 Indiscriminate attacks, i.e. attacks which cannot distinguish between protected persons/objects and military objectives, as well as attacks directed against protected persons/objects or acts of revenge are prohibited in any place and at any time.
17 Sanctions for violations of the international law of armed conflict
17.1 General provisions
237 The following in particular are criminal offences: … harmful acts against internationally protected persons and objects[.] 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, §§ 181, 225 and 237.
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states in a chapter entitled “War crimes”:
Art. 110
Articles 112–114 apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 112
1 The penalty shall be a custodial sentence of not less than three years for any person who in the context of an armed conflict directs an attack against:
b. personnel … involved in a humanitarian assistance … mission … , as long as they are protected by international humanitarian law. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 110 and 112(1)(b).
[footnote in original omitted]
Switzerland’s Penal Code (1937), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states under the title “War crimes”:
Art. 264b
Articles 264d–264j apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 264d
1 The penalty shall be a custodial sentence of not less than three years for any person who in the context of an armed conflict directs an attack against:
b. personnel … involved in a humanitarian assistance … mission … , as long as they are protected by international humanitarian law. 
Switzerland, Penal Code, 1937, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 264b and 264d (1)(b).
[footnote in original omitted]
At the First Periodical Meeting on International Humanitarian Law in 1998, Switzerland presented a working paper on the topic of respect for and security of the personnel of humanitarian organizations, in which it recommended that:
States intensify their efforts in the dissemination of international humanitarian law, especially within their armed and security forces … by emphasising respect for and the protection of humanitarian action and personnel … The proposed dissemination recalls the rule according to which it is forbidden to attack humanitarian organisations. 
Switzerland, Working Paper on Respect for and Security of the Personnel of Humanitarian Organisations, First Periodical Meeting on International Humanitarian Law, Doc. RPDIH1/RP, Geneva, 19–23 January 1998, p. 1, § 3.
The paper also proposed that “national legislation give effect, as widely as possible, to the rules according to which an order to attack a humanitarian organisation does not exonerate anyone from responsibility” and recommended that:
States adopt necessary provisions, especially on the criminal and administrative levels, with a view to pronouncing appropriate sanctions against all those who will have participated, directly or indirectly, in an attack against a humanitarian organisation … States on whose territory attacks have taken place initiate without any delay impartial and efficient enquiry procedures … States take necessary measures against those who have prepared, participated in or in any other way facilitated an attack against a humanitarian organisation. 
Switzerland, Working Paper on Respect for and Security of the Personnel of Humanitarian Organisations, First Periodical Meeting on International Humanitarian Law, Doc. RPDIH1/RP, Geneva, 19–23 January 1998, p. 1, §§ I-2 and I-5.
In 2005, in a report in response to a parliamentary postulate on private security and military companies, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated: “International humanitarian law also limits the conduct of military operations permissible under international law. Thus for example, attacks against protected groups and property such as civilians and civilian property as well as the staff or property of the Red Cross… are forbidden.” 
Switzerland, Report by the Swiss Federal Council on Private Security and Military Companies, 2 December 2005, Section 5.3.1, pp. 45–46.
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Emblems (distinctive sign)
In Armed conflicts recognisable emblems serve above all to protect military and civilian medical installations as well as the buildings of national relief organisations and their personnel from attack (protective function). This protection is guaranteed not by the emblems themselves but is based directly in international law. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, p. 18.
In 2009, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the permanent representative of Switzerland stated:
The current situation in Gaza cries out to us the importance of the issue we are discussing today. The main victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are civilians. …
Switzerland therefore reiterates its call for an immediate halt to the hostilities, the protection of humanitarian space, and strict compliance with international law by all parties to the conflict. …
We welcome the appeal of the [UN] Security Council in its resolution 1860 of 8 January for an immediate ceasefire and for the unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza. … However, we are disappointed that the resolution makes no mention of the importance of respect for international humanitarian law. … It is by insisting on the strict application of international humanitarian law in situations of armed conflict that the Council will achieve better protection of civilians. The Security Council underlined itself in its Presidential Statement of 27 May 2008 the importance of safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel to provide assistance to civilians in armed conflict in accordance with international law.  
Switzerland, Statement by the permanent representative of Switzerland before the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 14 January 2009, pp. 5–6.
In 2010, in its Report on Foreign Policy, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated: “At the UN, Switzerland’s priorities on humanitarian matters are … , the guarantee of access without restrictions to zones of catastrophes and war for humanitarian actors and the guarantee of the security of the latter by the host State.” 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on Foreign Policy 2010, 10 December 2010, Section 2.3, p. 1041.
In 2012, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs issued a press release entitled “Appeal by the Swiss authorities for compliance with international humanitarian law in Syria”, which stated: “Moreover, the parties [to the conflict] are subject to the obligation to respect and protect at all times fixed establishments and mobile medical units as well as all humanitarian actors.” 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, “Appeal by the Swiss authorities for compliance with international humanitarian law in Syria”, Press Release, 15 November 2012.
In 2013, in a statement before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the chargé d’affaires a.i. of Switzerland stated:
Further, we would like to share our deep concern about the ever-worsening situation with regard to humanitarian access in Syria. … It is also extremely worrying that the safety of humanitarian workers is not guaranteed. We therefore urge all parties to respect their obligations and to grant rapid and unimpeded access to civilians in need. 
Switzerland, Statement by the chargé d’affaires a.i. of Switzerland before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 12 February 2013.
In 2013, in a statement before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, made on behalf of the Group of Friends on the Protection of Civilians, the chargé d’affaires a.i. of Switzerland stated:
Parties to conflict too often fail to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, which requires all parties to conflict to spare the civilian population from the effects of hostilities. In particular, increasing numbers of humanitarian workers, including medical personnel, have been deliberately harmed or even killed recently; there is thus a clear need to find ways to improve their safety and security, while at the same time humanitarian access to reach those in most need must be maintained and negotiated with all relevant parties. … More must be done, within the framework of the UN Charter, to ensure accountability but also prevent grave instances of deliberate delays or denials of access for humanitarian operations, as well as attacks against humanitarian workers. In this regard, we recall that attacks on humanitarian workers constitute a war crime under article 8 e iii) of the [1998] Rome Statute of the ICC [International Criminal Court] and that accountability and legal protection are therefore stronger with an increasing membership in the ICC. 
Switzerland, Statement by the chargé d’affaires a.i. of Switzerland before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, made on behalf of the Group of Friends on the Protection of Civilians, namely Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Uruguay, 19 August 2013.
In 2013 in a statement before the UN Human Rights Council during an interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Syria and the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, the representative of Switzerland stated: “Switzerland condemns in the strongest terms deliberate attacks against medical and humanitarian personnel as well as medical installations, which, let us recall, are protected under international humanitarian law.” 
Switzerland, Statement by the representative of Switzerland before the UN Human Rights Council during an interactive dialogue with the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria and the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, 16 September 2013.
In 2013, in a statement at the 64th Session of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the ambassador of Switzerland stated: “Switzerland condemns in the strongest terms deliberate attacks against medical and humanitarian personnel as well as medical infrastructure and material. Such attacks constitute a war crime, a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and an attack on human dignity.” 
Switzerland, Statement by the ambassador of Switzerland at the 64th Session of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 1 October 2013.
In 2013, in a statement before the UN General Assembly during an interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, the representative of Switzerland stated: “Switzerland condemns in the strongest terms deliberate attacks against the civilian population, including medical and humanitarian personnel, as well as against civilian, and especially medical, infrastructure. Such attacks constitute serious violations of international humanitarian law.” 
Switzerland, Statement by the representative of Switzerland before the UN General Assembly during an interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, 24 October 2013.