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Geneva Conventions


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A series of international agreements on the treatment of victims of war, ratified in whole or partially by the majority of states and certain non-state organizations, such as the PLO (the Palestine Liberation Organization). The first Geneva Convention was established by the Swiss founder of the Red Cross, Henri Dunant, in 1864, and concerned the treatment of the wounded in war and the protection of medical personnel. Subsequent Conventions in 1907, 1929, 1949, and 1977 covered the treatment of prisoners of war and the protection of civilians, forbidding such acts as deportation, torture, hostage-taking, collective punishment or reprisals, and the use of chemical and biological weapons. The 1977 Convention dealt with more extensive non-combatant protection, and covered problems arising from internal wars.


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