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Red Cross calls for better treatment of POWs
British Red Cross vans at the front in 1917 Photo: Imperial War Museum

Red Cross calls for better treatment of POWs

Geneva, 20 September 1917 - A conference of the European neutral Red Cross societies has called for improvements in how prisoners of war are treated.

Meeting in Geneva, the conference, which comprises members of the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as delegates from the Red Cross Societies of Denmark, Spain, Holland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, adopted a resolution calling on belligerent governments to ‘renounce measures of reprisal against prisoners of war, or, failing this, should only begin them four weeks after giving notice to the Government interested’.

These four weeks are to be used by a neutral commission to investigate the motives for the proposed reprisals.

In addition to this resolution, the conference addressed issues of food provisions for prisoners. It also pressed the belligerent powers to embrace a comprehensive scheme for the repatriation of wounded prisoners who had endured a long captivity on the condition that they were not sent back to the front.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]


Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.