SECTION II. ALIENS IN THE TERRITORY OF A PARTY TO THE CONFLICT
All protected persons who may desire to leave the territory at the outset of, or during
a conflict, shall be entitled to do so, unless their departure is contrary to the
national interests of the State. The applications of such persons to leave shall be
decided in accordance with regularly established procedures and the decision shall
be taken as rapidly as possible. These persons permitted to leave may provide themselves
with the necessary funds for their journey and take with them a reasonable amount
of their effects and articles of personal use.
If any such person is refused permission to leave the territory, he shall be entitled
to have such refusal reconsidered as soon as possible by an appropriate court or administrative
board designated by the Detaining Power for that purpose.
Upon request, representatives of the Protecting Power shall, unless reasons of security
prevent it, or the persons concerned object, be furnished with the reasons for refusal
of any request for permission to leave the territory and be given, as expeditiously
as possible, the names of all persons who have been denied permission to leave.
Departures permitted under the foregoing Article shall be carried out in satisfactory
conditions as regards safety, hygiene, sanitation and food. All costs in connection
therewith, from the point of exit in the territory of the Detaining Power, shall be
borne by the country of destination, or, in the case of accommodation in a neutral
country, by the Power whose nationals are benefited. The practical details of such
movements may, if necessary, be settled by special agreements between the Powers concerned.
The foregoing shall not prejudice such special agreements as may be concluded between
Parties to the conflict concerning the exchange and repatriation of their nationals
in enemy hands.
Protected persons who are confined pending proceedings or serving a sentence involving
loss of liberty, shall during their confinement be humanely treated.
As soon as they are released, they may ask to leave the territory in conformity with
the foregoing Articles.
With the exception of special measures authorized by the present Convention, in particular
by Articles 27 and 41 thereof, the situation of protected persons shall continue to
be regulated, in principle, by the provisions concerning aliens in time of peace.
In any case, the following rights shall be granted to them:
(1) They shall be enabled to receive the individual or collective relief that may be sent
(2) They shall, if their state of health so requires, receive medical attention and hospital
treatment to the same extent as the nationals of the State concerned.
(3) They shall be allowed to practise their religion and to receive spiritual assistance
from ministers of their faith.
(4) If they reside in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war, they shall be
authorized to move from that area to the same extent as the nationals of the State
(5) Children under fifteen years, pregnant women and mothers of children under seven years
shall benefit by any preferential treatment to the same extent as the nationals of
the State concerned.
Protected persons who, as a result of the war, have lost their gainful employment,
shall be granted the opportunity to find paid employment. That opportunity shall,
subject to security considerations and to the provisions of Article 40, be equal to
that enjoyed by the nationals of the Power in whose territory they are.
Where a Party to the conflict applies to a protected person methods of control which
result in his being unable to support himself, and especially if such a person is
prevented for reasons of security from finding paid employment on reasonable conditions,
the said Party shall ensure his support and that of his dependents.
Protected persons may in any case receive allowances from their home country, the
Protecting Power, or the relief societies referred to in Article 30.
Protected persons may be compelled to work only to the same extent as nationals of
the Party to the conflict in whose territory they are.
If protected persons are of enemy nationality, they may only be compelled to do work
which is normally necessary to ensure the feeding, sheltering, clothing, transport
and health of human beings and which is not directly related to the conduct of military
In the cases mentioned in the two preceding paragraphs, protected persons compelled
to work shall have the benefit of the same working conditions and of the same safeguards
as national workers, in particular as regards wages, hours of labour, clothing and
equipment, previous training and compensation for occupational accidents and diseases.
If the above provisions are infringed, protected persons shall be allowed to exercise
their right of complaint in accordance with Article 30.
Should the Power in whose hands protected persons may be consider the measures of
control mentioned in the present Convention to be inadequate, it may not have recourse
to any other measure of control more severe than that of assigned residence or internment,
in accordance with the provisions of Articles 42 and 43.
In applying the provisions of Article 39, second paragraph, to the cases of persons
required to leave their usual places of residence by virtue of a decision placing
them in assigned residence elsewhere, the Detaining Power shall be guided as closely
as possible by the standards of welfare set forth in Part III, Section IV of this
The interment or placing in assigned residence of protected persons may be ordered
only if the security of the Detaining Power makes it absolutely necessary.
If any person, acting through the representatives of the Protecting Power, voluntarily
demands internment, and if his situation renders this step necessary, he shall be
interned by the Power in whose hands he may be.
Any protected person who has been interned or placed in assigned residence shall be
entitled to have such action reconsidered as soon as possibly by an appropriate court
or administrative board designated by the Detaining Power for that purpose. If the
internment or placing in assigned residence is maintained, the court or administrative
board shall periodically, and at least twice yearly, give consideration to his or
her case with a view to the favourable amendment of the initial decision, if circumstances
Unless the protected persons concerned object, the Detaining Power shall, as rapidly
as possible, give the Protecting Power the names of any protected persons who have
been interned or subjected to assigned residence, or who have been released from internment
or assigned residence. The decisions of the courts or boards mentioned in the first
paragraph of the present Article shall also, subject to the same conditions, be notified
as rapidly as possible to the Protecting Power.
In applying the measures of control mentioned in the present Convention, the Detaining
Power shall not treat as enemy aliens exclusively on the basis of their nationality
de jure of an enemy State, refugees who do not, in fact, enjoy the protection of any government.
Protected persons shall not be transferred to a Power which is not a party to the
This provision shall in no way constitute an obstacle to the repatriation of protected
persons, or to their return to their country of residence after the cessation of hostilities.
Protected persons may be transferred by the Detaining Power only to a Power which
is a party to the present Convention and after the Detaining Power has satisfied itself
of the willingess and ability of such transferee Power to apply the present Convention.
If protected persons are transferred under such circumstances, responsibility for
the application of the present Convention rests on the Power accepting them, while
they are in its custody. Nevertheless, if that Power fails to carry out the provisions
of the present Convention in any important respect, the Power by which the protected
persons were transferred shall, upon being so notified by the Protecting Power, take
effective measures to correct the situation or shall request the return of the protected
persons. Such request must be complied with.
In no circumstances shall a protected person be transferred to a country where he
or she may have reason to fear persecution for his or her political opinions or religious
The provisions of this Article do not constitute an obstacle to the extradition, in
pursuance of extradition treaties concluded before the outbreak of hostilities, of
protected persons accused of offences against ordinary criminal law.
Is so far as they have not been previously withdrawn, restrictive measures taken regarding
protected persons shall be cancelled as soon as possible after the close of hostilities.
Restrictive measures affecting their property shall be cancelled, in accordance with
the law of the Detaining Power, as soon as possible after the close of hostilities.
SECTION III. OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case
or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change
introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions
or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities
of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the
latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory.
Protected persons who are not nationals of the Power whose territory is occupied,
may avail themselves of the right to leave the territory subject to the provisions
of Article 35, and decisions thereon shall be taken according to the procedure which
the Occupying Power shall establish in accordance with the said Article.
Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons
from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any
other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.
Nevertheless, the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given
area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Such
evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds
of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid
such displacement. Persons thus evacuated shall be transferred back to their homes
as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased.
The Occupying Power undertaking such transfers or evacuations shall ensure, to the
greatest practicable extent, that proper accommodation is provided to receive the
protected persons, that the removals are effected in satisfactory conditions of hygiene,
health, safety and nutrition, and that members of the same family are not separated.
The Protecting Power shall be informed of any transfers and evacuations as soon as
they have taken place.
The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed
to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military
reasons so demand.
The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population
into the territory it occupies.
The Occupying Power shall, with the cooperation of the national and local authorities,
facilitate the proper working of all institutions devoted to the care and education
The Occupying Power shall take all necessary steps to facilitate the identification
of children and the registration of their parentage. It may not, in any case, change
their personal status, nor enlist them in formations or organizations subordinate
Should the local institutions be inadequate for the purpose, the Occupying Power shall
make arrangements for the maintenance and education, if possible by persons of their
own nationality, language and religion, of children who are orphaned or separated
from their parents as a result of the war and who cannot be adequately cared for by
a near relative or friend.
A special section of the Bureau set up in accordance with Article 136 shall be responsible
for taking all necessary steps to identify children whose identity is in doubt. Particulars
of their parents or other near relatives should always be recorded if available.
The Occupying Power shall not hinder the application of any preferential measures
in regard to food, medical care and protection against the effects of war, which may
have been adopted prior to the occupation in favour of children under fifteen years,
expectant mothers, and mothers of children under seven years.
The Occupying Power may not compel protected persons to serve in its armed or auxiliary
forces. No pressure or propaganda which aims at securing voluntary enlistment is permitted.
The Occupying Power may not compel protected persons to work unless they are over
eighteen years of age, and then only on work which is necessary either for the needs
of the army of occupation, or for the public utility services, or for the feeding,
sheltering, clothing, transportation or health of the population of the occupied country.
Protected persons may not be compelled to undertake any work which would involve them
in the obligation of taking part in military operations.
The Occupying Power may not compel protected persons to employ forcible means to ensure
the security of the installations where they are performing compulsory labour.
The work shall be carried out only in the occupied territory where the persons whose
services have been requisitioned are. Every such person shall, so far as possible,
be kept in his usual place of employment. Workers shall be paid a fair wage and the
work shall be proportionate to their physical and intellectual capacities. The legislation
in force in the occupied country concerning working conditions, and safeguards as
regards, in particular, such matters as wages, hours of work, equipment, preliminary
training and compensation for occupational accidents and diseases, shall be applicable
to the protected persons assigned to the work referred to in this Article.
In no case shall requisition of labour lead to a mobilisation of workers in an organization
of a military or semi-military character.
No contract, agreement or regulation shall impair the right of any worker, whether
voluntary or not and wherever he may be, to apply to the representatives of the Protecting
Power in order to request the said Power's intervention.
All measures aiming at creating unemployment or at restricting the opportunities offered
to workers in an occupied territory, in order to induce them to work for the Occupying
Power, are prohibited.
Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually
or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities,
or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where, such destruction
is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.
The Occupying Power may not alter the status of public officials or judges in the
occupied territories, or in any way apply sanctions to or take any measures of coercion
or discrimination against them, should they abstain from fulfilling their functions
for reasons of conscience.
This prohibition does not prejudice the application of the second paragraph of Article
51. It does not affect the right of the Occupying Power to remove public officials
from their posts.
To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty
of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular,
bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources
of the occupied territory are inadequate.
The Occupying Power may not requisition foodstuffs, articles or medical supplies available
in the occupied territory, except for use by the occupation forces and administration
personnel, and then only if the requirements of the civilian population have been
taken into account. Subject to the provisions of other international Conventions,
the Occupying Power shall make arrangements to ensure that fair value is paid for
any requisitioned goods. The Protecting Power shall, at any time, be at liberty to
verify the state of the food and medical supplies in occupied territories, except
where temporary restrictions are made necessary by imperative military requirements.
To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty
of ensuring and maintaining, with the cooperation of national and local authorities,
the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene in
the occupied territory, with particular reference to the adoption and application
of the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious
diseases and epidemics. Medical personnel of all categories shall be allowed to carry
out their duties.
If new hospitals are set up in occupied territory and if the competent organs of the
occupied State are not operating there, the occupying authorities shall, if necessary,
grant them the recognition provided for in Article 18. In similar circumstances, the
occupying authorities shall also grant recognition to hospital personnel and transport
vehicles under the provisions of Articles 20 and 21.
In adopting measures of health and hygiene and in their implementation, the Occupying
Power shall take into consideration the moral and ethical susceptibilities of the
population of the occupied territory.
The Occupying Power may requisition civilian hospitals only temporarily and only in
cases of urgent necessity for the care of military wounded and sick, and then on condition
that suitable arrangements are made in due time for the care and treatment of the
patients and for the needs of the civilian population for hospital accommodation.
The material and stores of civilian hospitals cannot be requisitioned so long as they
are necessary for the needs of the civilian population.
The Occupying Power shall permit ministers of religion to give spiritual assistance
to the members of their religious communities.
The Occupying Power shall also accept consignments of books and articles required
for religious needs and shall facilitate their distribution in occupied territory.
If the whole or part of the population of an occupied territory is inadequately supplied,
the Occupying Power shall agree to relief schemes on behalf of the said population,
and shall facilitate them by all the means at its disposal.
Such schemes, which may be undertaken either by States or by impartial humanitarian
organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, shall consist,
in particular, of the provision of consignments of foodstuffs, medical supplies and
All Contracting Parties shall permit the free passage of these consignments and shall
guarantee their protection.
A Power granting free passage to consignments on their way to territory occupied by
an adverse Party to the conflict shall, however, have the right to search the consignments,
to regulate their passage according to prescribed times and routes, and to be reasonably
satisfied through the Protecting Power that these consignments are to be used for
the relief of the needy population and are not to be used for the benefit of the Occupying
Relief consignments shall in no way relieve the Occupying Power of any of its responsibilities
under Articles 55, 56 and 59. The Occupying Power shall in no way whatsoever divert
relief consignments from the purpose for which they are intended, except in cases
of urgent necessity, in the interests of the population of the occupied territory
and with the consent of the Protecting Power.
The distribution of the relief consignments referred to in the foregoing Articles
shall be carried out with the cooperation and under the supervision of the Protecting
Power. This duty may also be delegated, by agreement between the Occupying Power and
the Protecting Power, to a neutral Power, to the International Committee of the Red
Cross or to any other impartial humanitarian body.
Such consignments shall be exempt in occupied territory from all charges, taxes or
customs duties unless these are necessary in the interests of the economy of the territory.
The Occupying Power shall facilitate the rapid distribution of these consignments.
All Contracting Parties shall endeavour to permit the transit and transport, free
of charge, of such relief consignments on their way to occupied territories.
Subject to imperative reasons of security, protected persons in occupied territories
shall be permitted to receive the individual relief consignments sent to them.
Subject to temporary and exceptional measures imposed for urgent reasons of security
by the Occupying Power:
(a) recognized National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Societies shall be
able to pursue their activities in accordance with Red Cross principles, as defined
by the International Red Cross Conferences. Other relief societies shall be permitted
to continue their humanitarian activities under similar conditions;
(b) the Occupying Power may not require any changes in the personnel or structure of these
societies, which would prejudice the aforesaid activities.
The same principles shall apply to the activities and personnel of special organizations
of a non-military character, which already exist or which may be established, for
the purpose of ensuring the living conditions of the civilian population by the maintenance
of the essential public utility services, by the distribution of relief and by the
organization of rescues.
The penal laws of the occupied territory shall remain in force, with the exception
that they may be repealed or suspended by the Occupying Power in cases where they
constitute a threat to its security or an obstacle to the application of the present
Convention. Subject to the latter consideration and to the necessity for ensuring
the effective administration of justice, the tribunals of the occupied territory shall
continue to function in respect of all offences covered by the said laws.
The Occupying Power may, however, subject the population of the occupied territory
to provisions which are essential to enable the Occupying Power to fulfil its obligations
under the present Convention, to maintain the orderly government of the territory,
and to ensure the security of the Occupying Power, of the members and property of
the occupying forces or administration, and likewise of the establishments and lines
of communication used by them.
The penal provisions enacted by the Occupying Power shall not come into force before
they have been published and brought to the knowledge of the inhabitants in their
own language. The effect of these penal provisions shall not be retroactive.
In case of a breach of the penal provisions promulgated by it by virtue of the second
paragraph of Article 64, the Occupying Power may hand over the accused to its properly
constituted, non-political military courts, on condition that the said courts sit
in the occupied country. Courts of appeal shall preferably sit in the occupied country.
The courts shall apply only those provisions of law which were applicable prior to
the offence, and which are in accordance with general principles of law, in particular
the principle that the penalty shall be proportionate to the offence. They shall take
into consideration the fact that the accused is not a national of the Occupying Power.
Protected persons who commit an offence which is solely intended to harm the Occupying
Power, but which does not constitute an attempt on the life or limb of members of
the occupying forces or administration, nor a grave collective danger, nor seriously
damage the property of the occupying forces or administration or the installations
used by them, shall be liable to internment or simple imprisonment, provided the duration
of such internment or imprisonment is proportionate to the offence committed. Furthermore,
internment or imprisonment shall, for such offences, be the only measure adopted for
depriving protected persons of liberty. The courts provided for under Article 66 of
the present Convention may at their discretion convert a sentence of imprisonment
to one of internment for the same period.
The penal provisions promulgated by the Occupying Power in accordance with Articles
64 and 65 may impose the death penalty on a protected person only in cases where the
person is guilty of espionage, of serious acts of sabotage against the military installations
of the Occupying Power or of intentional offences which have caused the death of one
or more persons, provided that such offences were punishable by death under the law
of the occupied territory in force before the occupation began.
The death penalty may not be pronounced against a protected person unless the attention
of the court has been particularly called to the fact that since the accused is not
a national of the Occupying Power, he is not bound to it by any duty of allegiance.
In any case, the death penalty may not be pronounced against a protected person who
was under eighteen years of age at the time of the offence.
In all cases, the duration of the period during which a protected person accused of
an offence is under arrest awaiting trial or punishment shall be deducted from any
period of imprisonment awarded.
Protected persons shall not be arrested, prosecuted or convicted by the Occupying
Power for acts committed or for opinions expressed before the occupation, or during
a temporary interruption thereof, with the exception of breaches of the laws and customs
Nationals of the occupying Power who, before the outbreak of hostilities, have sought
refuge in the territory of the occupied State, shall not be arrested, prosecuted,
convicted or deported from the occupied territory, except for offences committed after
the outbreak of hostilities, or for offences under common law committed before the
outbreak of hostilities which, according to the law of the occupied State, would have
justified extradition in time of peace.
No sentence shall be pronounced by the competent courts of the Occupying Power except
after a regular trial.
Accused persons who are prosecuted by the Occupying Power shall be promptly informed,
in writing, in a language which they understand, of the particulars of the charges
preferred against them, and shall be brought to trial as rapidly as possible. The
Protecting Power shall be informed of all proceedings instituted by the Occupying
Power against protected persons in respect of charges involving the death penalty
or imprisonment for two years or more; it shall be enabled, at any time, to obtain
information regarding the state of such proceedings. Furthermore, the Protecting Power
shall be entitled, on request, to be furnished with all particulars of these and of
any other proceedings instituted by the Occupying Power against protected persons.
The notification to the Protecting Power, as provided for in the second paragraph
above, shall be sent immediately, and shall in any case reach the Protecting Power
three weeks before the date of the first hearing. Unless, at the opening of the trial,
evidence is submitted that the provisions of this Article are fully complied with,
the trial shall not proceed. The notification shall include the following particulars:
(a) description of the accused;
(b) place of residence or detention;
(c) specification of the charge or charges (with mention of the penal provisions under
which it is brought);
(d) designation of the court which will hear the case;
(e) place and date of the first hearing.
Accused persons shall have the right to present evidence necessary to their defence
and may, in particular, call witnesses. They shall have the right to be assisted by
a qualified advocate or counsel of their own choice, who shall be able to visit them
freely and shall enjoy the necessary facilities for preparing the defence.
Failing a choice by the accused, the Protecting Power may provide him with an advocate
or counsel. When an accused person has to meet a serious charge and the Protecting
Power is not functioning, the Occupying Power, subject to the consent of the accused,
shall provide an advocate or counsel.
Accused persons shall, unless they freely waive such assistance, be aided by an interpreter,
both during preliminary investigation and during the hearing in court. They shall
have the right at any time to object to the interpreter and to ask for his replacement.
A convicted person shall have the right of appeal provided for by the laws applied
by the court. He shall be fully informed of his right to appeal or petition and of
the time limit within which he may do so.
The penal procedure provided in the present Section shall apply, as far as it is applicable,
to appeals. Where the laws applied by the Court make no provision for appeals, the
convicted person shall have the right to petition against the finding and sentence
to the competent authority of the Occupying Power.
Representatives of the Protecting Power shall have the right to attend the trial of
any protected person, unless the hearing has, as an exceptional measure, to be held
in camera in the interests of the security of the Occupying Power, which shall then notify
the Protecting Power. A notification in respect of the date and place of trial shall
be sent to the Protecting Power.
Any judgment involving a sentence of death, or imprisonment for two years or more,
shall be communicated, with the relevant grounds, as rapidly as possible to the Protecting
Power. The notification shall contain a reference to the notification made under Article
71, and, in the case of sentences of imprisonment, the name of the place where the
sentence is to be served. A record of judgments other than those referred to above
shall he kept by the court and shall be open to inspection by representatives of the
Protecting Power. Any period allowed for appeal in the case of sentences involving
the death penalty, or imprisonment of two years or more, shall not run until notification
of judgment has been received by the Protecting Power.
In no case shall persons condemned to death be deprived of the right of petition for
pardon or reprieve.
No death sentence shall be carried out before the expiration of a period of at least
six months from the date of receipt by the Protecting Power of the notification of
the final judgment confirming such death sentence, or of an order denying pardon or
The six months period of suspension of the death sentence herein prescribed may be
reduced in individual cases in circumstances of grave emergency involving an organized
threat to the security of the Occupying Power or its forces, provided always that
the Protecting Power is notified of such reduction and is given reasonable time and
opportunity to make representations to the competent occupying authorities in respect
of such death sentences.
Protected persons accused of offences shall be detained in the occupied country, and
if convicted they shall serve their sentences therein. They shall, if possible, be
separated from other detainees and shall enjoy conditions of food and hygiene which
will be sufficient to keep them in good health, and which will be at least equal to
those obtaining in prisons in the occupied country.
They shall receive the medical attention required by their state of health.
They shall also have the right to receive any spiritual assistance which they may
Women shall be confined in separate quarters and shall be under the direct supervision
Proper regard shall be paid to the special treatment due to minors.
Protected persons who are detained shall have the right to be visited by delegates
of the Protecting Power and of the International Committee of the Red Cross, in accordance
with the provisions of Article 143.
Such persons shall have the right to receive at least one relief parcel monthly.
Protected persons who have been accused of offences or convicted by the courts in
occupied territory, shall be handed over at the close of occupation, with the relevant
records, to the authorities of the liberated territory.
If the Occupying Power considers it necessary, for imperative reasons of security,
to take safety measures concerning protected persons, it may, at the most, subject
them to assigned residence or to internment.
Decisions regarding such assigned residence or internment shall be made according
to a regular procedure to be prescribed by the Occupying Power in accordance with
the provisions of the present Convention. This procedure shall include the right of
appeal for the parties concerned. Appeals shall be decided with the least possible
delay. In the event of the decision being upheld, it shall be subject to periodical
review, if possible every six months, by a competent body set up by the said Power.
Protected persons made subject to assigned residence and thus required to leave their
homes shall enjoy the full benefit of Article 39 of the present Convention.
SECTION V. INFORMATION BUREAUX AND CENTRAL AGENCY
Upon the outbreak of a conflit and in all cases of occupation, each of the Parties
to the conflict shall establish an official Information Bureau responsible for receiving
and transmitting information in respect of the protected persons who are in its power.
Each of the Parties to the conflict shall, within the shortest possible period, give
its Bureau information of any measure taken by it concerning any protected persons
who are kept in custody for more than two weeks, who are subjected to assigned residence
or who are interned. It shall, furthermore, require its various departments concerned
with such matters to provide the aforesaid Bureau promptly with information concerning
all changes pertaining to these protected persons, as, for example, transfers, releases,
repatriations, escapes, admittances to hospitals, births and deaths.
Each national Bureau shall immediately forward information concerning protected persons
by the most rapid means to the Powers of whom the aforesaid persons are nationals,
or to Powers in whose territory they resided, through the intermediary of the Protecting
Powers and likewise through the Central Agency provided for in Article 140. The Bureaux
shall also reply to all enquiries which may be received regarding protected persons.
Information Bureaux shall transmit information concerning a protected person unless
its transmission might be detrimental to the person concerned or to his or her relatives.
Even in such a case, the information may not be withheld from the Central Agency which,
upon being notified of the circumstances, will take the necessary precautions indicated
in Article 140.
All communications in writing made by any Bureau shall be authenticated by a signature
or a seal.
The information received by the national Bureau and transmitted by it shall be of
such a character as to make it possible to identify the protected person exactly and
to advise his next of kin quickly. The information in respect of each person shall
include at least his surname, first names, place and date of birth, nationality, last
residence and distinguishing characteristics, the first name of the father and the
maiden name of the mother, the date, place and nature of the action taken with regard
to the individual, the address at which correspondence may be sent to him and the
name and address of the person to be informed.
Likewise, information regarding the state of health of internees who are seriously
ill or seriously wounded shall be supplied regularly and if possible every week.
Each national Information Bureau shall, furthermore, be responsible for collecting
all personal valuables left by protected persons mentioned in Article 136, in particular
those who have been repatriated or released, or who have escaped or died; it shall
forward the said valuables to those concerned, either direct, or, if necessary, through
the Central Agency. Such articles shall be sent by the Bureau in sealed packets which
shall be accompanied by statements giving clear and full identity particulars of the
person to whom the articles belonged, and by a complete list of the contents of the
parcel. Detailed records shall be maintained of the receipt and despatch of all such
A Central Information Agency for protected persons, in particular for internees, shall
be created in a neutral country. The International Committee of the Red Cross shall,
if it deems necessary, propose to the Powers concerned the organization of such an
Agency, which may be the same as that provided for in Article 123 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949.
The function of the Agency shall be to collect all information of the type set forth
in Article 136 which it may obtain through official or private channels and to transmit
it as rapidly as possible to the countries of origin or of residence of the persons
concerned, except in cases where such transmissions might be detrimental to the persons
whom the said information concerns, or to their relatives. It shall receive from the
Parties to the conflict all reasonable facilities for effecting such transmissions.
The High Contracting Parties, and in particular those whose nationals benefit by the
services of the Central Agency, are requested to give the said Agency the financial
aid it may require.
The foregoing provisions shall in no way be interpreted as restricting the humanitarian
activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross and of the relief societies
described in Article 142.
The national Information Bureaux and the Central Information Agency shall enjoy free
postage for all mail, likewise the exemptions provided for in Article 110, and further,
so far as possible, exemption from telegraphic charges or, at least, greatly reduced