Geneva Conventions' struggle for respect

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The Geneva Conventions are 60 years old on Wednesday, but the anniversary comes amid concern that respect for the rules of war is small.

The three existing Geneva Conventions, which relate to the immunity of medical personnel on the battlefield and the treatment of prisoners of war, were extensively revised in 1949.

The fourth Geneva Convention, which stipulates that warring parties have an obligation to protect civilians, was added.

Unfortunately, signatures on paper have not led to respect for the conventions, and research conducted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) - which is the guardian of the conventions - shows that civilians suffer most in armed conflict.

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