Red Cross Legal Committee Decides to Protect Civilians in All Conflicts

The legal committee of the 17th International Red Cross Conference meeting’ here this week-end adopted an important change in the draft convention for the protection of civilians in wartime so as to extend the protection of the international relief agency in “all cases of armed conflict which are not of an international character.” The committee, which thus held out the promise of assistance for the Jews and other minorities, is headed by Judge Emil Sandstroem of Sweden, who headed the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine last year.

During the course of the debate on the clause, Dr. Gerhardt Riegner of the World Jewish Congress recalled the scenes of horror, arson and bloodshed which took place in Nazi Germany against the Jews, and declared that since the U.N. has treated human rights as an international problem the Red Cross cannot dismiss it without action. Meanwhile, the Danish delegation introduced a resolution covering political prisoners and pointed out that it is also intended to protect all concentration camp prisoners.

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