Practice Relating to Rule 88. Non-Discrimination
Section D. Persons deprived of their liberty
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides: “All POWs [prisoners of war] are to be treated alike without any adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief, or political opinions, or any other distinction founded on similar criteria.”
With regard to non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “The wounded and sick among [persons whose liberty has been restricted] are to be treated humanely.”
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) states: “The standard of treatment which applies to all detained persons, without adverse distinction based on race, nationality, sex, religious belief or political opinion, is a long standing rule.”
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on the treatment of prisoners of war (PWs):
Subject to specified advantageous differences in treatment based on rank, gender or health, all PWs are to be treated alike without any adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions, or any other distinction founded on similar criteria.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflicts, the manual restates the provisions of common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions:
By Common Article 3, the parties to a non-international armed conflict occurring in the territory of a party to the Conventions are obliged to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:
a. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat
by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, gender, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
In the same chapter, the manual further states:
1711. No Adverse Discrimination
1. [Additional Protocol II] applies without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, gender, language, religion or other opinion, national or social origin, wealth, birth or other status, or on any other similar criteria.
2. [Additional Protocol II] provides that all persons not participating in the conflict or who have ceased to do so are entitled, whether under restriction or not, to respect for their persons, honour and convictions, and religious practices, and are, in all circumstances, to be treated humanely and without adverse distinction.
Canada’s Prisoner of War Handling and Detainees Manual (2004) states that, with regards to constraints placed on the interrogation and tactical questioning of prisoners of war, “adverse treatment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or ethnic, religious or cultural background” is specifically prohibited.
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) instructs Canadian Forces (CF) personnel:
3. On occasion it may be necessary to detain civilians who as a result of their actions are considered to be opposing forces. For example, looters or other common criminals may have to be detained in order to protect the military compound. In certain circumstances, civilians who interfere with and prevent the CF from accomplishing the mission may also be detained when authorized by the ROE [rules of engagement]. These civilians become “detainees” and as such, shall be treated at least as well as any other detained persons (see Rule # 6).
3. The primary reasons for which members of the CF may be called upon to detain individuals in the course of an operation are to prevent their further participation in a conflict or, when authorized, to prevent them from interfering with the military mission. The reason for captivity is never related to revenge or punishment. The concept of humane treatment toward those under your control and the standard of treatment which applies to all detained persons, without adverse distinction based on race, nationality, sex, religious belief or political opinion, is a long standing rule.