Practice Relating to Rule 5. Definition of Civilians
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Civilians are all those persons who do not take part in hostilities ([including] women, the elderly, children, journalists on dangerous assignments, refugees and internally displaced people).”
In its Glossary of Terms, the manual states:
The civilian population is made up of civilian persons. In international armed conflicts, the presence within the civilian population of individuals who do not come within the definition of civilians does not deprive the population of its civilian character. Appropriate rules protect the whole population of a party to a conflict without any adverse distinction.
Both in international and non-international armed conflicts, the civilian population and civilian persons enjoy general protection against the dangers of military operations.
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “Civilians are persons who do not belong to the armed forces.”
In its Glossary of Terms, the manual also states:
Civilian Population: Comprises all civilians. In international armed conflict, the presence of persons who do not come within the definition of civilians does not deprive the population of its civilian character.
Appropriate norms protect the whole population of a Party to the conflict without any adverse distinction.
In 2006, in the Lucanmarca case, the Second Provisional Criminal Chamber of Peru’s Supreme Court of Justice stated:
The definition as military objective of a person who is not participating in hostilities but who has been labelled as not innocent by the leaders or commanders of an armed organization according to their ideology or political views is not an admissible justification or excuse in criminal law. No person or group of persons can decide who must and who must not be eliminated. Such behaviour is punishable by law.