Swiss citizen Mr Henry Dunant called for an international agreement to be established after he witnessed atrocities such as the murder of wounded and looting of bodies at the Battle of Solferino.
His proposal was for the protection of those who are wounded or dying and the establishment of a permanent relieve agency to provide humanitarian aid.
This is how the Geneva convention and the Red Cross was established and the treaty was signed in 1864 by 12 countries.
There are now four Geneva conventions dealing with a range of issues.
First and Second Geneva Conventions
The First and Second Conventions deal with war situations and were the first attempt at establishing the principals covering;
1. Caring for the wounded and sick and shipwrecked.
2. Each side to treat the other as if they were their own.
3. Identification and collection of dead.
4. Protection of the dead from looting
5. Protection of medical personnel from attack.
Third Geneva Convention
The Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War and was adopted in 1929 and was revised and replaced by the Third
Geneva Convention of 1949 following the second world war atrocities and outlines how prisoners of war should be treated.
The main points of the Third Geneva cover;
1. Prisoners only obliged to provide their name, rank and number.
2. Prisoners must be treated in a humane way.
3. Prisoners should be allowed to inform their next of kin and the Red Cross they have been captured.
4. Prisoners should be allowed to correspond with