What is the Geneva Convention?
The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war. The singular term Geneva Convention denotes the agreements of 1949, negotiated in the aftermath of the Second World War (1939-45), which updated the terms of the first three treaties (1864, 1906, 1929), and added a fourth treaty. The articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) extensively defined the basic rights of prisoners (civil and military) during war; established protections for the wounded; and established protections for the civilians in and around a war zone. The treaties of 1949 were ratified, in whole or with reservations, by 194 countries. The Geneva Convention also defines the rights and protections of non-combatants.