Repatriation by the Power on which they depend,

Repatriation
and Accommodation in Neutral Countries

Articles on the repatriation of
prisoners or their nation in neutral countries during hostilities deserve
special attention. The Convention gives the categories of wounded or sick who
are entitled to automatic repatriation and indicates what cases may lead to
accommodation in neutral countries. The principles are stated in Article IIO;
particular cases are decided in accordance with the Model Agreement annexed to
the Convention (Annex I), which, in spite of its title, is made prescriptive,
failing special agreements between the interested Powers (Art. IIO, Par. 3 and
4).

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The appointment, duties and
functioning of Mixed Medical Commissions, whose task it is to· designate the
prisoners eligible for repatriation or accommodation in neutral countries, are
henceforth regulated in detail in the fourteen Articles of the Regulations
concerning Mixed Medical Commissions, annexed to the Convention (Art. IIZ and
Annex II). These Regulations are prescriptive; to meet a need which made itself
felt during the recent War, the Medical Commissions are made to depend more
closely on one single, central organization, namely the International
Committee.

Accommodation of prisoners in
neutral countries is maintained, even though it proved impracticable throughout
the last War. Certain types of wounds and illnesses are mentioned (Art. IIO,
Par. z); so are prisoners who have been a long time captive (Art. 109, Par. z),
and even other categories, when circumstances suggest (Art. III). Detaining
Powers “shall endeavour, with the co-operation of the neutral Powers concerned,
to make arrangements for the accommodation in neutral countries” of prisoners
(Art. 109, Par. z). Among wounded and sick prisoners submitted for
examinationto the Mixed Medical Commissions should be included those proposed
by the Power on which they depend, or by an organization recognised by that Power,
and « giving assistance to the prisoners; this latter expression could
obviously cover National Red Cross Societies (Art. II3).

The situations which arise at
the end of a modern war have shown that the I929 Convention, in making the
repatriation of prisoners coincide with “the conclusion of peace”, could be
distinctly unfavourable for the men concerned. In future, under Article II8,
prisoners must be repatriated without delay after the cessation of active
hostilities”. In default of agreement between the interested States on this
point, each Detaining Power shall at once draw up and carry out a plan of
repatriation in conformity with the above principle.

Death
of Prisoners

Special provisions have been
enacted for prisoners who die while in captivity. The last Paragraph of article
120 follows similar provisions of the First Geneva Convention, obliges the
Detaining Power to set up a Graves Registration Service, among its duties is to
transmit lists of graves to the nation of origin.

Application
of the Convention

Article I26 makes provision for
the Delegates of the Protecting Powers to supervise the application of the
Convention. Such Delegates are, for the future, authorized to travel to the
points of departure, passage, or arrival of transferred prisoners. Committee’s
Delegates “shall enjoy the same prerogatives” as the representatives of the
Protecting Powers.x