The rule regarding prisoners of war is enumerated in Geneva Convention 1949. It contains exhaustive provisions as to treatment of prisoners of war. It would apply to all cases of war even if the conflict is not of international character. The convention has provided that, all the prisoners of war must be given freedom of worship in the manner they like. If any prisoner of war makes an effort to run wary, every effort should be made to capture him and he should be shot dead only as a last resort. As soon as hostilities are over, it is the duty and responsibility of both the parties to the war that full and complete information must be provided about the prisoners of war.
Prisoner of War:
The prisoners of war are captives in the hands of the enemy state. The detaining power is always responsible for the humane treatment of war prisoner.
Who May Be Treated As Prisoner Of War:
- Member of armed forces of a party to the conflict.
- Member of other militant and voluntary groups.
- Member of armed forces of government not recognized by detaining powers.
- Accomplice of armed forces.
- Inhabitants who took up arms.
Rights Of Prisoners Of War:
They must be treated humanely.
- To provide them articles of their personal use.
- The detention of Prisoners of War in camp area far enough from the combat zone to be out of danger.
- Providing quarters and clothing, medical attention.
- Religions, intellectual and physical activities.
- No physical or mental torture or any coercion for getting the information which is useful in war.
- Protection against violence.
- Treated according to their previous designations in the armed forces.
- Information about the dead may be given forthwith.
Release Of Prisoners Of War Without Delay:
At the end of active hostilities, prisoners of war shall be released without delay.
The Repatriation of Prisoners of War and Korean war dilemma:
After the war is over, the prisoners are to be repatriated to their homelands and the parties to the war are expected to start this process as quickly as possible. But while the problem of repatriation of Korean prisoners of war came a seriously difficulty arose. There were quite a large number of Prisoners of War, who had fought from North Korean side, but they were not willing to go back to communist hands. North Korea pleaded that all the prisoners of war, who had been arrested, while fighting on their side, should returned to them.
On the other hand, UN, negotiations pleaded that North Korea had no right to claim repatriation of those, who were unwilling to go back to their country, particularly because unwilling soldiers had declared that they were compelled to fight at that time. Thus the problem of repatriation of unwilling soldiers possessed services problem. It was temporarily solved by not immediately repatriating such prisoners and by placing them under the supervision of a neutral commission, till further screening.