History of the Geneva Convention
The Geneva Convention, a cornerstone of international humanitarian law, was drafted in response to the horrors of war and the growing awareness of the need to preserve the rights and dignity of individuals. The idea of providing care for wounded troops gained traction in the middle of the 19th century, and from there the Convention grew.
After witnessing the suffering of injured troops firsthand at the Battle of Solferino in 1859, Henry Dunant became an outspoken proponent of the creation of voluntary relief groups. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was founded in 1863 thanks to his efforts.
In 1864, the first Geneva Convention was signed, establishing standards for the care of injured soldiers. This was a monumental moment in the growth of humanitarian law on a global scale. Later Geneva Conventions were adopted in 1906, 1929, and 1949 to provide even more protections for civilians and prisoners of war during times of war.
The Additional Protocols of 1977 supplemented the Geneva Conventions by addressing topics such as the protection of victims in internal armed conflicts. The concepts of humanism, neutrality, and impartiality have been emphasized in these accords to establish guidelines for the treatment of humans during times of war.
The history of the Geneva Convention demonstrates humanity’s dedication to reducing casualties in times of war. Beyond the realm of law, it has an impact on the moral and ethical decisions made during times of crisis and war all over the world.