This legal guide is designed to assist camp commanders in ensuring that enemy personnel captured, interned, or otherwise held in U.S. Army custody in the course of a conflict are accorded the protections established by the international law of land warfare.
The provisions of the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 were ratified by the United States on February 2, 1956. They are applicable to enemy prisoners of war (EPW's) from the time of their capture until release or repatriation. According to the Conventions, EPW's are to receive humane treatment regardless of race, nationality, religious belief, political opinions, or other similar criteria. The punishment of EPW's is administered by due process of law and under legally constituted authority. The inhumane treatment of EPW's is prohibited even if committed under stress of combat and with deep provocation. It is a serious and punishable violation under international and national law, including the Uniform Code of Military Justice. These regulations, derived from international and national law on the treatment of EPW's, address the subjects of responsibility of command; camp discipline; quarters, food, and clothing; hygiene; religious, intellectual, and physical activities; medical attention; labor; transfer of EPW's; escape; death of EPW's; processing of complaints and requests; EPW representative; financial resources of EPW's; correspondence; disciplinary sanctions; termination of captivity; and access to EPW's.
United States of America