This article suggests that the laws of war should apply to internal conflicts. The legislative history of the present rules of war began in draft agreements before formally being expressed in international compacts, and that internal conflicts observe similar rules has also been advocated by scholars in draft agreements. It appeared in limited form Article Three of the 1949 Geneva Convention, which gives hope that something tangible will be developed by the United Nations to protect vulnerable populations during internal conflicts. The article continues that in the meantime Article Three should be utilized as a diplomatic tool to hold countries to their obligations to treat all humanely. States often ignore Article Three, but are receptive to explicit provisions. Despite the generalness of Article Three’s language, its purpose was to ameliorate the suffering caused by war. Finally, this article argues that the nature of the suffering, not the nature of the conflict, is the important factor to consider.
James E. Bond,
Internal Conflict and Article Three of the Geneva Conventions, 48 DENV. L.J. 263