Practice Relating to Rule 53. Starvation as a Method of Warfare
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states with regard to civilians who are in the power of the troops at the time of combat: “It is prohibited to starve the civilian population by removing or rendering supplies useless, or by impeding relief actions in favour of the population in need.”
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
14.4 Objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population
216 Starvation of the population as a method of warfare is prohibited.
15.2 Prohibited methods of warfare
226 Starvation of and threats against the civilian population … are prohibited in any place and at any time.
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states: “Even in war not everything is allowed. Various means and methods are prohibited, including … starvation”.