|Exploration 5C: Focus on protecting prisoners|
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NOTE: In these materials, the term "prisoner" refers to a person, whether a combatant or a civilian, who is detained as a result of an armed conflict.
You probably have questions like "How can the law protect prisoners after they are put into prison?" or "Who will be able to find out what happens to them?" in your "No easy answers " corner. For more information on "No easy answers," see the Methodology section.
This exploration addresses such questions by focusing on compliance with the law and on monitoring prisoner treatment.
AN INTERNATIONAL COMMITMENT
The ICRC is mandated by the international community to visit prisoners of war and others detained in relation to armed conflict to verify whether they are being treated according to relevant international standards. It also seeks to visit those held in situations of internal violence.
For more on how the ICRC strives to ensure the humane treatment of prisoners of war and other detainees held in relation to armed conflict or situations of internal violence, see Strengthening protection and respect for prisoners and detainees at the ICRC website.
One consequence of armed conflict is taking and holding of prisoners. In Exploration 5C, students study the rules of international humanitarian law (IHL) that are specifically intended to protect prisoners. They learn about one of the tasks performed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): visiting prisoners in order to assess the extent to which their captors are complying with these rules of IHL. Students also explore the dilemmas that such prison visits can create for humanitarian workers.