prisoner of war
prisoner of war, in international law, person captured by a belligerent while fighting in the military. International law includes rules on the treatment of prisoners of war but extends protection only to combatants. This excludes civilians who engage in hostilities (by international law they are war criminals; see war crimes) and forces that do not observe conventional requirements for combatants (see war, laws of).
Sections in this article:
- The 1929 Geneva Convention
- Historical Attitudes toward Prisoners of War
- The 1949 Geneva Convention
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: International Law