Practice Relating to Rule 109. Search for, Collection and Evacuation of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “At all times, but particularly after an engagement, parties to the conflict shall, without delay, take all possible measures to search for and collect the wounded … during combat.”
The manual also provides: “‘As far as circumstances permit’, agreements shall be concluded to facilitate the search, removal, exchange and transport of wounded left on the battlefield.”
The manual further states that “wounded and sick enemies shall be evacuated as soon as possible” and “in the same conditions as our own troops”.
The manual specifies:
In besieged or encircled areas where there is civilian population, it shall be endeavoured to conclude local agreements with the enemy to organize the evacuation of the wounded [and] sick … and the passage of medical and religious personnel.
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states:
At all times, and particularly after an engagement, the parties to a conflict must take all possible measures to search for and collect those wounded … during the fighting.
Local agreements can be made between the parties to the conflict for this purpose.
The manual also states:
If a party to the conflict is compelled to abandon wounded or sick people to the enemy, it should, “as far as military considerations permit”, leave with them a part of its medical personnel and material to assist in their care.
“Whenever circumstances permit”, agreements should be made for the removal, exchange and transport of the wounded left on the battlefield.
“As far as military considerations allow”, each party to the conflict should facilitate the steps taken to search for the … wounded.
The manual further states: “Enemy wounded and sick must be quickly evacuated from the combat zone.”
The manual also provides:
A ceasefire … [can be] established for humanitarian reasons to facilitate the removal, exchange and transport of the wounded left on the battlefield, for the removal and exchange of the wounded and sick from a besieged or encircled area or for the passage of medical and religious personnel and equipment on their way to such areas.
The manual specifies:
In besieged or encircled areas where there are civilians, efforts must be made to conclude local agreements with the enemy for the evacuation of the wounded [and] sick … and for the passage of medical personnel and equipment on their way to such areas.
Spain’s Royal Ordinance for the Armed Forces (1978) punishes the failure to search for and rescue the wounded and sick of both parties.
Under Spain’s Military Criminal Code (1985), failure to use the available means to search and rescue the wounded, sick and shipwrecked constitutes an offence against the laws and customs of war.
Spain’s Royal Ordinances for the Armed Forces (2009) states: “Whenever circumstances for the accomplishment of the mission and the security of the unit permit, [members of the armed forces] must take, without delay, all possible measures to search for the wounded, sick and shipwrecked”.
In 2010, in its report to the UN General Assembly on the status of the 1977 Additional Protocols, Spain stated:
Article 85 entitled “Principle of Humanity”, contained in Title IV on Operations [of the Royal Ordinances for the Armed Forces (2009)] clearly embodies the spirit of the  Geneva Convention and its  Additional Protocols, as it provides that “[the] … conduct [of members of the armed forces] in any conflict or military operation must conform to the applicable rules of the international treaties on international humanitarian law to which Spain is a party”.
That is further developed in Chapter VI on Ethics in Operations, which goes into specific duties under international humanitarian law … the search for the wounded, sick, [and] shipwrecked.