Essay about war crimes- what the publis should know

2827 Words 12 Pages
Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know

     The term war crime brings to mind a combination of horrific images, concentration camps, ethnic cleansing, execution of prisoners, rape, and bombardment of cities. These images correspond in many ways to the legal definitions of the term, but international law draws lines that do not in all ways match our sense of the most awful behavior.
     War crimes are those violations of the laws of war, or international humanitarian law (IHL) that deserve individual criminal responsibility. While limitations on the conduct of armed conflict date back at least to the Chinese warrior Sun Tzu (sixth century B.C.), the ancient Greeks were among the
…show more content…
Additional Protocol I of 1977 expanded the protections of the Geneva Conventions for international conflicts to include as grave breaches: certain medical experimentation; making civilians and non-defended areas the object or unavoidable victims of attack; the deceitful use of the Red Cross or Red Crescent emblem; transfer of an occupying power of parts of its population to occupied territory; unjustifiable delays in release of POWs; apartheid; attack on historic monuments; and depriving protected persons of a fair trial. Under the Geneva Conventions and Additional
Protocol I, States must prosecute persons accused of grave breaches or hand them over to a State willing to do so. (Gutman and Rieff pg. 375)
Crimes of war unfortunately, happen in every war that has occurred throughout history. Amongst them are slavery, biological experiments, apartheid, and genocide which are only a few dominant actions carried out by people that have inflicted these horrific crimes.
One disturbing example of slavery takes place in Sudan. Sudan’s ruling National Islamic Front government in Khartoum did not have enough money to pay the Arab forces serving in the non-Arab and mainly non-Muslim provinces in the south, so it had been allowing the militias its arms as well as its soldiers to take southern women and children as slaves. There were