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While State armed forces may be considered combatants for purposes of the principle of distinction see Rule 1 , practice is not clear as to the situation of members of armed opposition groups. Practice does indicate, however, that persons do not enjoy the protection against attack accorded to civilians when they take a direct part in hostilities see Rule 6.
The lawfulness of direct participation in hostilities in non-international armed conflicts is governed by national law. According to this rule, when military medical and religious personnel are members of the armed forces, they are nevertheless considered non-combatants. According to the First Geneva Convention, temporary medical personnel have to be respected and protected as non-combatants only as long as the medical assignment lasts see commentary to Rule The military manuals of Germany and the United States point out that there can be other non-combatant members of the armed forces besides medical and religious personnel.
The non-combatant status: importance and implications for medical personnel.
This particular status was first recognized under the Geneva Conventions with the First Geneva Convention of Article 42 of Protocol I states that pilots and aircrews who are parachuting from aircraft in distress cannot be attacked regardless of what territory they are over. If pilots or aircrews land in territory controlled by the enemy, they must be given an opportunity to surrender before being attacked unless it is apparent that they are engaging in a hostile act or attempting to escape.
Airborne forces who are descending by parachute from an aircraft, whether it is disabled or not, are not given the protection afforded by this Article and, therefore, may be attacked during their descent unless they are hors de combat. Article 50 of Protocol 1 defines a civilian as a person who is not a privileged combatant.
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Article 51 describes the protection that must be given to civilians unless they are unprivileged combatants and civilian populations. Article 8 2 b i of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court also prohibits attacks directed against civilians.
While not all states have ratified Protocol I or the Rome Statute, these provisions reiterated existing customary laws of war which is binding of all belligerents in an international conflict. Article 3 in the general section of the Geneva Conventions states that in the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties that each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions to "persons taking no active part in the hostilities" non-combatants.
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- The non-combatant status: importance and implications for medical personnel..
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Noncombatant Immunity and War-Profiteering. The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of War. Don't have an account? Sign in via your Institution. Sign in with your library card.
Noncombatant | Definition of Noncombatant by Merriam-Webster
In This Article 1. The Orthodox and the Revisionist Views 1. Challenges to the Revisionist View 2.