In 1859, Henry Dunant, a Swiss citizen, witnessed the horrific aftermath of the Battle of Solferino, in which thousands of wounded soldiers lay abandoned, dying in excruciating pain. Four years later, in 1863, he convened an international conference in Geneva, Switzerland, to form a medical relief organization for assisting the wounded during wartime and protecting medical relief personnel. This was the first Geneva Convention and the birth of the International Red Cross.
Since then, after major global conflicts in which the nature and conduct of wars have evolved, there have been three additonal Geneva Conventions. The latest was held in 1949 just after the end of World War II. Taken together, the Conventions set the standards for international law and humanitarian concerns regarding the treatment of non-combatants and prisoners of war. Nearly 200 nations, virtually every state in the world, have signed and accepted these as the code of conduct.
Until now, the Conventions have only been available to the public online, with no published book on the market. With an introduction by Gary Solis, and explanatory notes and annotations throughout, this edition will be an essential guide for anyone interested in the conduct of wars as well as the many controversies swirling around Guantanamo Bay and Abu Gharaib.