Practice Relating to Rule 108. Mercenaries
Section B. Status of mercenaries
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) states: “In all cases, a mercenary who is not a member of the armed forces of a party to the conflict shall not have the right to combatant or prisoner-of-war status.”
At the CDDH, Italy stated:
Mercenaries, though not entitled to prisoner-of-war status, were covered by Article 65 [now Article 75 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I], which contained the fundamental safeguards to be given to all persons not enjoying more favourable treatment, regardless of the gravity of the crimes with which they might be charged.
In 1981, during a debate in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, Italy stated that Article 47 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I should be interpreted in parallel to Article 75 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I.