IRRC No. 268

Synopsis VII—Combatant and prisoner-of-war status

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Only the members of the armed forces of a Party to a conflict (other than medical personnel, chaplains and military personnel engaged in civil defence) are combatants (Hague Regulations, Art. 1 and 3; P. I, Art. 43 and 67).Combatants are entitled to take direct part in the hostilities (P. I, Art. 43), i.e. to commit acts of war which are intended by their nature or their purpose to hit specifically the combatants and other military objectives of the enemy armed forces.Any combatant who falls into the power of an adverse Party is a prisoner of war (P. I, Art. 4).

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