Practice Relating to Rule 134. Women

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Article 6(5) of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states: “Sentence of death shall not … be carried out on pregnant women.” 
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 2200 A (XXI), 16 December 19, Article 6(5).
American Convention on Human Rights
Article 4(5) of the 1969 American Convention on Human Rights provides: “Capital punishment shall not be … applied to pregnant women.” 
American Convention on Human Rights, adopted by the OAS Inter-American Specialized Conference on Human Rights, San José, 22 November 1969, also known as Pact of San José, Article 4(5).
Additional Protocol I
Article 76(3) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides:
To the maximum extent feasible, the Parties to the conflict shall endeavour to avoid the pronouncement of the death penalty on pregnant women or mothers having dependent infants, for an offence related to the armed conflict. The death penalty for such offences shall not be executed on such women. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 76(3). Article 76 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.43, 27 May 1977, p. 251.
Additional Protocol II
Article 6(4) of the 1977 Additional Protocol II provides: “The death penalty shall not be pronounced … on pregnant women or mothers of young children.” 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 6(4). Article 6 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.50, 3 June 1977, p. 97.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 4 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia requires that all civilians be treated in accordance with Article 76(3) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 4.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 2.3 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina requires that all civilians be treated in accordance with Article 76(3) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 2.3.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) states: “It is not possible to pronounce the death penalty against pregnant women or nursing mothers. If pronounced, it must not be executed.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 3.28; see also § 5.11.
With respect to non-international conflicts in particular, the manual states: “The death penalty shall not be pronounced against … pregnant women and mothers of young children.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 7.10.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
In case of conflict, the parties to the conflict must avoid that the death penalty be pronounced with respect to women if they are pregnant or have young children. Even if such a penalty is pronounced, it must not be executed. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 29, § 131; see also p. 49, § 213 and p. 75, § 321.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides, with respect to non-international conflicts in particular: “The death penalty shall not be carried out on pregnant women or mothers of young children.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 17-4, § 30.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) provides in its chapter on non-international armed conflict that “the death penalty shall not be carried out on pregnant women or mothers of young children”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1716.3.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states in relation to women: “In the case of conflict, the parties to the conflict must avoid them being sentenced to death, particularly if they are pregnant or have young children. Even if such a sentence is passed, it cannot be executed.” 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 53; see also pp. 34 and 92.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in book III, volume 2 (instruction of second-year trainee officers):
I.1.2. Women
… In the case of an offence related to the armed conflict, pregnant women and mothers of small children can be sentenced to death, but the death penalty must not be executed. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 22; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 32.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009), in a section on the 1949 Geneva Convention III, states: “As far as possible, the death penalty should not be pronounced on pregnant women or mothers with dependent infants. If a death sentence is pronounced in such cases, it should not be carried out.” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 188; see also § 238.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
Section 11 - Prosecutions and procedural guarantees
1071. The prosecution and punishment of offences relating to the armed conflict should be subject to the following conditions (this relates to the bearing of arms and the committing of offences and war crimes during the internal armed conflict):
- for parties which still maintain capital punishment, the death penalty must not be imposed on persons who were younger than 18 years old at the time of committing the offence, on pregnant women or on women who are mothers of young children.
The Netherlands has abolished capital punishment. No Dutch judicial authority may pronounce a death sentence. Furthermore, the Netherlands may not agree to hand over persons under Dutch jurisdiction who are suspected or convicted of an offence carrying the death penalty, unless guarantees are given that the death penalty will not be carried out. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1071 and p. 173.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides, with respect to non-international conflicts: “The death penalty shall not be carried out on pregnant women or mothers of young children.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1815(3).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Operational Code of Conduct (1967) states: “Under no circumstances should pregnant women be ill-treated or killed.” 
Nigeria, Operational Code of Conduct for Nigerian Armed Forces, Federal Military Government of Nigeria, July 1967, § 4(a).
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Every effort should be made to avoid the pronouncement of the death penalty on pregnant women or mothers having dependent infants for an offence related to the armed conflict.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 32.o.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “Every effort should be made to avoid the pronouncement of the death penalty on pregnant women or mothers having dependent infants for an offence related to the armed conflict.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 33(n), p. 252.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides that if pregnant women and mothers of young children are condemned to death, the sentence shall not be executed on them. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 1.3.c.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states that the “law of armed conflict reflects the need to provide special protection to those victims of war who are more vulnerable to danger”. In that context: “Priority is given to the care of pregnant women and women with young children; if they are condemned to death, the death penalty must not be executed.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 1.3.c.(1).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
Pregnant women and mothers of dependent children who are arrested, detained or interned for reasons related to the armed conflict must have their cases considered with the utmost priority. For these women, the pronouncement of the death penalty should be avoided, as far as that is possible, and the execution of the death penalty is forbidden. In any event, United Kingdom courts may not impose death sentences. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 9.8.2; see also § 16.48 (enforcement of the law of armed conflict).
Burundi
Burundi’s Penal Code (1981) provides that “if a woman who has been sentenced to death is found to be pregnant, she must not be subjected to the punishment until after the birth”. 
Burundi, Penal Code, 1981, Article 30.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Penal Code (2010), which contains a chapter on war crimes, states in its general provisions: “If a woman who has been sentenced to death declares that she is pregnant, and if this is proven correct, she must not be subjected to the punishment until three years after the birth.” 
Central African Republic, Penal Code, 2010, Article 26.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 76(3), as well as any “contravention” of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, including violations of Article 6(4), are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Japan
Japan’s Code of Criminal Procedure (1948), as amended in 2006, states: “If a woman condemned to death is pregnant, the execution shall be stayed by order of the Minister of Justice.” 
Japan, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1948, as amended in 2006, Article 479. (For a translation of Article 479, see Japan’s initial report to the Committee Against Torture, UN Doc. CAT/C/JPN/1, 21 March 2007, submitted 20 December 2005, Annex XIV, p. 102.)
Jordan
Under Jordanian legislation, it is prohibited to pronounce or carry out the death penalty on pregnant women and this prohibition is valid for the three months following the birth of the child. 
Jordan, Criminal Code, 1960, Article 17; Code of Criminal Procedure. 1961, as amended in 2001, Article 338.
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the two additional protocols to [the 1949 Geneva] Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(b).
Viet Nam
Viet Nam’s Penal Code (1999) provides that the death penalty “shall not apply to … pregnant women and women nursing children under 36 months old at the time of committing crimes or being tried”. 
Viet Nam, Penal Code, 1999, § 35.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Constitution (2013) states:
Chapter 4 – Declaration of Rights
48. Right to life
(2) A law may permit the death penalty to be imposed only on a person convicted of murder committed in aggravating circumstances, and –
(d) the penalty must not be imposed or carried out on a woman; …
86. Limitation of rights and freedoms
(2) The fundamental rights and freedoms set out in this Chapter may be limited only in terms of a law of general application and to the extent that the limitation is fair, reasonable, necessary and justifiable in a democratic society based on openness, justice, human dignity, equality and freedom, taking into account all relevant factors, including –
(b) the purpose of the limitation, in particular whether it is necessary in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, regional or town planning or the general public interest;
(3) No law may limit the following rights enshrined in this Chapter, and no person may violate them –
(a) the right to life, except to the extent specified in section 48;
87. Limitations during public emergency
(1) In addition to the limitations permitted by section 86, the fundamental rights and freedoms set out in this Chapter may be further limited by a written law providing for measures to deal with situations arising during a period of public emergency, but only to the extent permitted by this section and the Second Schedule.
(4) No law that provides for a declaration of a state of emergency, and no legislative or other measure taken in consequence of such a declaration may –
(a) indemnify, or permit or authorise an indemnity for, the State or any institution or agency of the government at any level, or any other person, in respect of any unlawful act; or
(b) limit any of the rights referred to in section 86(3), or authorise or permit any of those rights to be violated. 
Zimbabwe, Constitution, 2013, Sections 48(2)(d), 86(2)(b) and (3)(a), and 87(1) and (4).
South Africa
In 1987, in the Petane case, the Cape Provincial Division of South Africa’s Supreme Court dismissed the accused’s claim that the 1977 Additional Protocol I reflected customary international law. The Court stated:
The accused has been indicted before this Court on three counts of terrorism, that is to say, contraventions of s 54(1) of the Internal Security Act 74 of 1982. He has also been indicted on three counts of attempted murder.
The accused’s position is stated to be that this Court has no jurisdiction to try him.
… The point in its early formulation was this. By the terms of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I to the [1949] Geneva Conventions the accused was entitled to be treated as a prisoner-of-war. A prisoner-of-war is entitled to have notice of an impending prosecution for an alleged offence given to the so-called “protecting power” appointed to watch over prisoners-of-war. Since, if such a notice were necessary, the trial could not proceed without it, Mr Donen suggested that the necessity or otherwise for giving such a notice should be determined before evidence was led. …
On 12 August 1949 there were concluded at Geneva in Switzerland four treaties known as the Geneva Conventions. …
South Africa was among the nations which concluded the treaties. … Except for the common art 3, which binds parties to observe a limited number of fundamental humanitarian principles in armed conflicts not of an international character, they apply to wars between States.
After the Second World War many conflicts arose which could not be characterised as international. It was therefore considered desirable by some States to extend and augment the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, so as to afford protection to victims of and combatants in conflicts which fell outside the ambit of these Conventions. The result of these endeavours was Protocol I and Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions, both of which came into force on 7 December 1978.
Protocol II relates to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts. Since the State of affairs which exists in South Africa has by Protocol I been characterised as an international armed conflict, Protocol II does not concern me at all.
The extension of the scope of art 2 of the Geneva Conventions was, at the time of its adoption, controversial. …
The article has remained controversial. More debate has raged about its field of operation than about any other articles in Protocol I. …
South Africa is one of the countries which has not acceded to Protocol I. Nevertheless, I am asked to decide, as I indicated earlier, as a preliminary point, whether Protocol I has become part of customary international law. If so, it is argued that it would have been incorporated into South African law. If it has been so incorporated it would have to be proved by one or other of the parties that the turmoil which existed at the time when the accused is alleged to have committed his offences was such that it could properly be described as an “armed conflict” conducted by “peoples” against a “ra[c]ist regime” in the exercise of their “right of self-determination”. Once all this has been shown it would have to be demonstrated to the Court that the accused conducted himself in such a manner as to become entitled to the benefits conferred by Protocol I on combatants, for example that, broadly speaking, he had, while he was launching an attack, distinguished himself from civilians and had not attacked civilian targets. …
… I am prepared to accept that where a rule of customary international law is recognised as such by international law it will be so recognised by our law.
To my way of thinking, the trouble with the first Protocol giving rise to State practice is that its terms have not been capable of being observed by all that many States. At the end of 1977 when the treaty first lay open for ratification there were few States which were involved in colonial domination or the occupation of other States and there were only two, South Africa and Israel, which were considered to fall within the third category of ra[c]ist regimes. Accordingly, the situation sought to be regulated by the first Protocol was one faced by few countries; too few countries in my view, to permit any general usage in dealing with armed conflicts of the kind envisaged by the Protocol to develop.
Mr Donen contended that the provisions of multilateral treaties can become customary international law under certain circumstances. I accept that this is so. There seems in principle to be no reason why treaty rules cannot acquire wider application than among the parties to the treaty.
Brownlie Principles of International Law 3rd ed at 13 agrees that non-parties to a treaty may by their conduct accept the provisions of a multilateral convention as representing general international law. …
I incline to the view that non-ratification of a treaty is strong evidence of non-acceptance.
It is interesting to note that the first Protocol makes extensive provision for the protection of civilians in armed conflict. …
In this sense, Protocol I may be described as an enlightened humanitarian document. If the strife in South Africa should deteriorate into an armed conflict we may all one day find it a cause for regret that the ideologically provocative tone of s 1(4) has made it impossible for the Government to accept its terms.
To my mind it can hardly be said that Protocol I has been greeted with acclaim by the States of the world. Their lack of enthusiasm must be due to the bizarre mixture of political and humanitarian objects sought to be realised by the Protocol. …
According to the International Review of the Red Cross (January/February 1987) No 256, as at December 1986, 66 States were parties to Protocol I and 60 to Protocol II, which, it will be remembered, deals with internal non-international armed conflicts. With the exception of France, which acceded only to Protocol II, not one of the world’s major powers has acceded to or ratified either of the Protocols. This position should be compared to the 165 States which are parties to the Geneva Conventions.
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status o[f] customary international [law].
I have not been persuaded by the arguments which I have heard on behalf of the accused that the assessment of Professor Dugard, writing in the Annual Survey of South African Law (1983) at 66, that “it is argued with growing conviction that under contemporary international law members of SWAPO [South-West Africa People’s Organisation] and the ANC [African National Congress] are members of liberation movements entitled to prisoner-of-war status, in terms of a new customary rule spawned by the 1977 Protocols”, is correct. On what I have heard in argument I disagree with his assessment that there is growing support for the view that the Protocols reflect a new rule of customary international law. No writer has been cited who supports this proposition. Here and there someone says that it may one day come about. I am not sure that the provisions relating to the field of application of Protocol I are capable of ever becoming a rule of customary international law, but I need not decide that point today.
For the reasons which I have given I have concluded that the provisions of Protocol I have not been accepted in customary international law. They accordingly form no part of South African law.
This conclusion has made it unnecessary for me to give a decision on the question of whether rules of customary international law which conflict with the statutory or common law of this country will be enforced by its courts.
In the result, the preliminary point is dismissed. The trial must proceed. 
South Africa, Supreme Court, Petane case, Judgment, 3 November 1987, pp. 2–8.
South Africa
In 2010, in the Boeremag case, South Africa’s North Gauteng High Court stated:
In Petane, … Conradie J found that the provisions of [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I are not part of customary international law, and therefore are also not part of South African law.
Referring to the fact that in December 1986 only 66 of the 165 States party to the Geneva Conventions had ratified Protocol I, the Court [in Petane] stated:
This approach of the world community to Protocol I is, on principle, far too half-hearted to justify an inference that its principles have been so widely accepted as to qualify them as rules of customary international law. The reasons for this are, I imagine, not far to seek. For those States which are contending with “peoples[’]” struggles for self-determination, adoption of the Protocol may prove awkward. For liberation movements who rely on strategies of urban terror for achieving their aims the terms of the Protocol, with its emphasis on the protection of civilians, may prove disastrously restrictive. I therefore do not find it altogether surprising that Mr Donen was unable to refer me to any statement in the published literature that Protocol I has attained the status of customary international law.
Important changes with respect to certain aspects applicable at the time of Petane have taken place. The ANC [African National Congress] has become South Africa’s ruling party and in 1995 ratified Protocol I. The total number of States that have ratified it, is now … 162.
This last aspect forms the basis on which the First Respondent [the State] and the applicants agree that Protocol I forms part of customary international law as well as of South African law. As requested, this position is accepted for the purposes of the decision, without deciding on the matter.
Despite these changes, it remains debatable whether the provisions of Protocol I have become a part of South African law in this way.
The consensus of both parties to the conflict is required. See Petane … and Article 96 of Protocol I. …
Parliament’s failure to incorporate Protocol I into legislation in accordance with Article 231(4) of the Constitution in fact points to the contrary, and is indicative that the requirements of usus and/or opinio juris have not been met. See Petane. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, pp. 21–22.
[footnotes in original omitted]
The Court also held:
If the [1977 Additional Protocol I] applies in South Africa as customary international law, the two requirements that form the basis of customary law must be met. It is arguable that the requirement of usus has been met by the vast number of States that have acceded or ratified it. By ratifying Protocol I the Republic of South Africa has indicated its intention to apply the Protocol, thereby fulfilling the requirement of opinio juris. 
South Africa, North Gauteng High Court, Boeremag case, Judgment, 26 August 2010, p. 66.
Somalia
In 2011, in its report to the Human Rights Council, Somalia stated:
Somalia has not ratified AP II [1977 Additional Protocol II] and it is therefore not directly applicable to Somalia as a matter of treaty law. The Government is aware that many provisions of AP II represent customary IHL rules and therefore apply to the situation in Somalia. Such provisions include … Article 6 providing the rule on penal prosecutions due to the fact that these norms are reflected in Common Article 3 of the [1949] Geneva Conventions. 
Somalia, Report to the Human Rights Council, 11 April 2011, UN Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/11/SOM/1, § 75.
Syrian Arab Republic
The Report on the Practice of the Syrian Arab Republic asserts that the Syrian Arab Republic considers Article 76 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to be customary. 
Report on the Practice of the Syrian Arab Republic, 1997, Chapter 5.3.
Uganda
In 2003, in its initial report to the Human Rights Committee, Uganda stated:
In Uganda’s national legislation a sentence of death is not imposed on a pregnant woman … Section 102 of the Trial on Indictments Decree, 1971 provides that where a woman convicted of an offence punishable by death is found to be pregnant, the sentence to be passed on her shall be a sentence of imprisonment for life instead of death. 
Uganda, Initial report to the Human Rights Committee, 14 February 2003, UN Doc. CCPR/C/UGA/2003/1, 25 February 2003, § 141.
United States of America
According to the Report on US Practice, “Articles 4, 5 and 6 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol II] reflect general US policy on treatment of persons in the power of an adverse party in armed conflicts governed by common Article 3” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The report also notes: “It is the opinio juris of the US that persons detained in connection with an internal armed conflict are entitled to humane treatment as specified in Articles 4, 5 and 6 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol II].” 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 5.3.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all States in which the death penalty has not been abolished to comply with their obligations under relevant provisions of international human rights instruments, including in particular articles 6, 7 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and articles 37 and 40 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, bearing in mind the safeguards and guarantees set out in Economic and Social Council resolutions 1984/50 of 25 May 1984 and 1989/64 of 24 May 1989. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/173, 19 December 2006, § 4, voting record: 137-0-43-12.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Recalling Economic and Social Council resolution 1984/50 of 25 May 1984 and the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, annexed thereto, and Council resolution 1989/64 of 24 May 1989 on their implementation, as well as the Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 40/34 of 29 November 1985,
6. Calls upon all States in which the death penalty has not been abolished to comply with their obligations as assumed under relevant provisions of international human rights instruments, including in particular articles 6, 7 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and articles 37 and 40 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, bearing in mind the safeguards and guarantees set out in Economic and Social Council resolutions 1984/50 and 1989/64. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/53, 24 April 2003, preamble and § 6, voting record: 37-0-16.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the question of the death penalty, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Recalling article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which affirms the right of everyone to life, article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and articles 6 and 37 (a) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,
4. Urges all States that still maintain the death penalty:
(a) Not to impose it for crimes committed by persons below 18 years of age, and to exclude pregnant women from capital punishment;
(e) Not to enter any new reservations under article 6 of the Covenant which may be contrary to the object and the purpose of the Covenant and to withdraw any such existing reservations, given that article 6 enshrines the minimum rules for the protection of the right to life and the generally accepted standards in this area;
(h) To exclude mothers with dependent infants from capital punishment. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/67, 24 April 2003, preamble and § 4(a), (e) and (h), voting record: 23-18-10.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Calls upon all States in which the death penalty has not been abolished to comply with their obligations as assumed under relevant provisions of international human rights instruments, including in particular articles 6, 7 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and articles 37 and 40 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, bearing in mind the safeguards and guarantees set out in Economic and Social Council resolutions 1984/50 and 1989/64. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/37, 19 April 2004, § 7, voting record: 39-0-12.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the question of the death penalty, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Recalling article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms the right of everyone to life, article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and articles 6 and 37 (a) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,
4. Urges all States that still maintain the death penalty:
(b) To exclude pregnant women and mothers with dependent infants from capital punishment;
(g) Not to enter any new reservations under article 6 of the Covenant which may be contrary to the object and the purpose of the Covenant and to withdraw any such existing reservations, given that article 6 enshrines the minimum rules for the protection of the right to life and the generally accepted standards in this area. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/67, 21 April 2004, preamble and § 4(b) and (g), voting record: 29-19-5.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Calls upon all States in which the death penalty has not been abolished to comply with their obligations under relevant provisions of international human rights instruments, including in particular articles 6, 7 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and articles 37 and 40 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, bearing in mind the safeguards and guarantees set out in Economic and Social Council resolutions 1984/50 and 1989/64. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/34, 19 April 2005, § 6, voting record: 36-0-17.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the question of the death penalty, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Recalling article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms the right of everyone to life, convinced that the abolition of the death penalty is essential for the protection of this right and recalling article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and articles 6 and 37 (a) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,
7. Urges all States that still maintain the death penalty:
(b) To exclude pregnant women and mothers with dependent infants from capital punishment;
(g) To withdraw and/or not to enter any new reservations under article 6 of the Covenant that may be contrary to the object and purpose of the Covenant, given that article 6 enshrines the minimum rules for the protection of the right to life and the generally accepted standards in this area.  
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/59, 20 April 2005, preamble and § 7(b) and (g), voting record: 26-17-10.
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ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that:
The pronouncement of the death penalty on pregnant women or mothers having dependent infants, for an offence related to the armed conflict, shall be avoided. The death penalty for those offences shall in no circumstances be executed on such women. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 203.
Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards
The Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards, adopted by an expert meeting convened by the Institute for Human Rights of Åbo Akademi University in Turku/Åbo, Finland in 1990, states: “Sentences of death shall not be carried out on pregnant women [or] mothers of young children.” 
Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards, adopted by an expert meeting convened by the Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University, Turku/Åbo, 30 November–2 December 1990, Article 8(3), IRRC, No. 282, p. 333.