Prisoners of War

Prisoners of war (POWs) are combatants or civilians captured by enemy troops during a conflict. International law sets standards for defining POWs and ensuring that those captured are treated humanely; those laws have been revised and expanded significantly during the past century, usually in response to large-scale atrocities or abuse. During wartime, it is often difficult to ascertain whether opposing forces are treating POWs humanely, so international bodies such as the Red Cross are entrusted with inspecting camps, prisons, and other facilities to confirm that international humanitarian law (IHL) is being followed. When IHL violation occurs, individuals, organizations, armies, or governments may be prosecuted in their respective national or international courts.

Laws Regarding POWs

Under customary laws of war that developed over the course of the early ...

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