Practice Relating to Rule 121. Location of Internment and Detention Centres
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides: “Camps must not be located in areas where they may be exposed to the fire of the combat zone.”
With respect to non-international armed conflicts in particular, the manual states: “Detention and internment camps must not be located too close to the combat zone.”
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
Prisoners of war must be removed from the battle zone as soon as possible after capture. …
Prisoners of war may not be exposed unnecessarily to danger during evacuation. Prisoners of war should be transferred to camps far from the battle zone.
Section 5 - Prisoner-of-war camps
0724. Prisoners of war are often interned in an enclosed camp, but may also be held in an open camp. In a remote region, an open camp is conceivable, in which case an obligation may be imposed on the prisoners of war not to go further than a given distance from the camp. Prisoners of war interned in unhealthy areas, or in areas where the climate is harmful to them, must be transferred as quickly as possible to areas with a more favourable climate.
0725. Camps may not be located in places exposed to fire from the combat zone. The presence of prisoners of war may not be used to render certain areas immune from military operations. … Prisoners of war should preferably not be interned on board ships. This rule may temporarily be waived if a ship is the only available alternative for their internment. Prisoners of war may be interned in former prisons only if there are no ordinary inmates in them and if the quarters otherwise meet the requirements for a prisoner-of-war camp. As far as possible, shelters against air bombardment and other hazards must be provided in the prisoner-of-war camp.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
Those responsible for internment or imprisonment must observe the following, without limitation:
- not to locate places of internment and detention too close to the battle zone and, where necessary, to evacuate the persons affected.