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During the past 60 years of war, the main victims who suffered from the war were the civilians. Due to this, the protection of civilians during armed conflict are considered as a cornerstone of International Humanitarian Law. Generally a civilian is any individual who is not a member of armed forces. The definition of civilians can be seen in Art 50(1) of Additional Protocol I of Geneva Conventions of 1949 which stated that a civilian is any person who does not belong to any one of the categories of persons under Article 4(A) (1), (2), (3) and (6) of the Third Geneva Convention 1949 and in Article 43 of this Protocol. The persons who falls under Art 4(A)(1),(2),(3) and (6) include members of the armed forces of a party to the conflicts, members of other militias and members of other volunteer corporations. Furthermore, it include members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power and inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war. In addition, civilian does not include armed forces and members of armed forces of a party to the conflicts as stated in Art 43 of Additional Protocol I of Geneva Conventions of 1949. Basically, if there is any doubt on whether a person is consider as a civilian or not, that person shall be considered to be a civilian.
As has been stated earlier, the International Humanitarian Law was enacted in order to protect the right of civilians in terms of war. It is known as a set of rules governing the treatment of victims of the armed conflicts and limit the effects of armed conflicts but it does not include any internal tension or disturbance like any acts of violence. International Humanitarian law is a part of International Law which govern the relationship between states. The parties who bound to the International Humanitarian Law include all parties to an armed conflict whether States or non-State. It is also known as the law of war or the law of conflict. Furthermore, it also protects persons who are not or are no longer participating in the hostilities and restricts the means and methods of warfare. As for the example, looking at the past history of World War II which was the most widespread and deadliest war that involved the Allies and the Axis power lasted from 1939 to 1945. The major Allies power were Great Britain, the Soviet Union, the United States and China. On the other hand, Axis power consist of Germany, Italy and Japan.
The effects of World War II was that around 40 million were civilians died. Furthermore, adult as well as children, women were affected by the war and the civilians were subjected to direct life threatening, torture which lead to the increasing number of death. Crime against humanity such as Genocide occurs especially in Germany. Civilians lived in hunger, separated from their family, involve destruction of houses and infrastructure. As a result, they weren’t obtain the necessary means to survive.
 Article 4(A) (1) of the Third Geneva Convention 1949
 Article 4(A) (2) of the Third Geneva Convention 1949
 Article 4(A) (3) of the Third Geneva Convention 1949
 Article 4(A) (6) of the Third Geneva Convention 1949
 Art 43 of Additional Protocol I of Geneva Conventions of 1949
What Is International Humanitarian Law? (2004)
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