Practice Relating to Rule 25. Medical Personnel
Section A. Respect for and protection of medical personnel
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states that medical personnel are “protected under international humanitarian law” and that directing attacks against such persons constitutes “a serious violation of international humanitarian law”.
The manual further states:
1.2.24. Non-combatants (those who do not fight) are members of the armed forces who provide assistance to them but take no direct part in hostilities. These [include] medical personnel … Weapons shall not be employed against such persons while they are engaged in the performance of their direct duties.
Such persons become combatants in case of their direct participation in hostilities.
1.2.34. “Medical personnel” (both military and civilian) means members of medical units assigned (permanently or temporarily):
- for performing exclusively medical purposes – namely the search for, collection, transportation, diagnosis or treatment – including first-aid treatment – of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, or for the prevention of disease or for maintenance of medical units and work on medical transport.
Ukraine’s Criminal Code (2001) stipulates that medical personnel are to be respected.