NationStates Jolt Archive

Treatment of P.O.W's

Snake Eaters
28-06-2005, 22:45
This is my new idea for a UN resolution. I put it up here to see how people reacted to it, and see if popular support would work in my favour. The Most Glorious Hack might recognize this, but it's undergone some work since this morning, but I welcome constructive criticism, as this is my first attempt at this. Please also note that I have posted this in 'Nationstates' forum, in Sound and Fury, as a seperate treaty between interested nations. Should this become a resolution and get passed, I shall delete that thread:


Category: Human Rights
Strength: Significant

Treatment of P.O.W's

Opening Statement
Conflict is constant. Throughout the galaxy, wars are waged every day, claiming the lives of many thousands, even millions of people. Yet it is not all death. Prisoners are taken also, and until now, there has been no unifying structure regarding their treatment by their captors. It is time that this trend was changed, and thus we, the Assembly of The Shadowy State of Snake Eaters, call upon the UN to ratify this proposal.

Clause I: Definition of a Prisoner of War
A prisoner of war is any combatant of any nation who is captured whilst in the line of duty. They must carry identification in the form of dog-tags or other such documents, and these must be on their person at all times. These should contain details including: Name, Date of Birth, Blood Group, Rank, and then a number of other variables that can be instigated by the nation in question.

It is important to note that the combatant must be able to prove that he has been deployed to the area in a war-legal capacity. As such, it is with great regret that spies and other clandestine forces, whose presence in the region is not officially recognized by their governing body, are not included in these accords, and therefore are not under it’s protection should they be captured.

Clause II: Regarding the capture of prisoners
At all times during a conflict, both forces must be ready and able to capture prisoners in a safe and controlled way. A tried and tested method to capturing prisoners is to offer them a chance to surrender when the commanding officer deems them unable to fight any more and still put up a fair resistance. In such a case, the most senior man in the unit, be it a section, platoon or otherwise, is to offer the enemy unit a chance to surrender, using the phrase:

You are unable to maintain a decent resistance. Continuing to fight will only result in your deaths. I urge you to surrender

, or words to that effect. This offer of surrender can be acknowledged in any number of ways, including the white flag, which is always to represent surrender and nothing else, or a vocal confirmation. Also, the most senior man of the opposing unit may expose himself to the enemy in order to confirm that he is surrendering. At this point, all members of the capturing unit are not permitted to fire upon this man. He is to emerge unarmed, hands on his head, and confirm vocally the surrender. At this time, he and his unit are officially prisoners of war, and must be treated as such, as covered in Clause IV.

Clause III: Regarding situations that do not fit Clause II
It is a certainty that some peoples will refuse to surrender, fighting to the death if you will. It is at times like this that the most control must be exercised if capture is still possible. If that is the case, then they should be offered two more chances at surrender, at times deemed appropriate by the senior man in the assaulting unit. If they once again refuse a further two times, then action to eliminate the unit completely may be taken..

If the unit is reduced to a small number of men, who are then surrounded and confronted by members of the assaulting unit, then they are to be given a final warning to surrender. If they continue to open fire, surrender is no longer an option, and they are to be eliminated. If, however, they now surrender, then they must be treated as prisoners of war, as covered in Clause IV.

Clause IV: Regarding the treatment of prisoners once in captivity
This clause is subdivided into a number of areas, which shall be addressed separately:

Paragraph A:
Accommodations : All prisoners must be given a place to sleep. The minimum acceptable standard is that of a cell, containing no more than four people in bunk beds. This cell must have a window of some sort, to allow natural light to enter, but it may be reinforced in any manner to prevent escape attempts. The cell should include a single washbasin, of which cold water is the minimum accepted. Each bed should have a small box or similar for the prisoners to store personal effects that were not confiscated at the time of their arrival. (See Clause V: Prohibited items)

In some cases, solitary confinement must be used as a deterrent. The same standards apply to this, although with the obvious differences of a smaller cell, with only a single bed. Other than that, they should conform to the same standards.

Paragraph B:
Food and Water : No prisoner should be deliberately refused food or water. Meals may only be consumed at set times, under the view of guards. It is not required, but is preferable, that the prisoners be allowed to exit their cells for the purpose of meals.

In an ideal world, they would be fed a balanced diet in order to keep them healthy. However, it may prove difficult to do so easily, and as such Snake scientists have come up with a meal that encompasses all the major food groups in appropriate amounts in order to avoid malnutrition and other such problems. With things such as vitamins, fruit is preferable, as it also contains certain aspects that can prevent health problems.

In regard to drinks, water is of course the main substance. Each prisoner should be allotted a daily water ration in order to prevent over-drinking and also to enable limited supplies to be stretched. This should be at least four litres a day in order to maintain their health and fitness. The water should also be clean.

In regard to the consumption of alcohol, this is strictly prohibited unless allowed by the Camp Commandant on special occasions such as Christmas Day. At this point, each prisoner will be allowed a limited amount of alcohol that must last him or her the entire period.

Paragraph C:
Healthcare : Basic standards of healthcare must be provided. This includes examinations by trained staff, be they military or civilian, and also a selection of treatments that may be useful. Given that complaints of illness in a prisoner of war camp stay within a fairly narrow band, it can be assumed that these will be most common, and therefore more of the appropriate treatment can be stocked.

In cases that require surgical treatment in areas that cannot accommodate it, it may be necessary to move the patient to the nearest place that can deal with it. In this event, the doctor must be accompanied by at least one armed guard at all times, in order to prevent the possible escape of the prisoner.

Paragraph D:
Recreation : All prisoners should be allowed at least some time to themselves outside their cells, and we suggest that at least five hours be allowed. During this time, they must be allowed to partake in a range of activates in order to distract them from escape attempts. These activities could include things such as gardening, perhaps growing additional food for meal times. (See Food & Water)

Paragraph E:
Hygiene : The ‘host’ nation must provide at least a basic form of hygiene. Adequate conditions would be cold showers at the very least; however some form of heating would be preferable should the prisoners be held in arctic areas.

Paragraph F:
Clothing : The prisoners should be issued with appropriate clothing for the region in which they are being held. This clothing should be cleaned or replaced as required

Paragraph G:
In addition, a prisoner is not to be discriminated against on the issue of race, sex, colour, creed or any other external factors. They are to be treated the same, regardless of these influences. All those who have signed this document also understand that the prisoners are not to be subject to physical, mental, or sexual abuse during their time in the hands of their enemy. If this rule is suspected to have been broken, then enquires will begin, and repercussions will be swift

Clause V: Prohibited Items for prisoners
All prisoners will have their weapons and military equipment taken away from them, which will be held in a secure facility until it is deemed that they are to be released. However, prisoners may retain personal effects such as watches, family photographs and other such things at all times. They are also permitted to retain their dog-tags/ identification documents at all times, as without these they cannot be identified upon release.

Clause VI: Regarding organisation of the P.O.W camps
The prisoners must form a Camp Council or similar organisation in order to negotiate with the Camp Commandant on behalf of the other prisoners. This Council should be made up of the officers and most senior none commissioned officers (Staff Sergeant or equivalent). The most senior member of the Council is the President, and as such must be the chief negotiator on the prisoners’ behalf. The formation of such a Council is not to be hindered by the Camp Commandant or any of his guards. However, they should be closely monitored, as it most likely that escape plans will be brought before the Council before approval and implementation

Clause VII: Dealing with escape attempts and rule infractions
It is inevitable that escape attempts will occur in any prisoner of war camps. There are a number of ways of dealing with this.

In the case of infraction of rules, or failed escape attempts, the Camp Commandant will place the culprits in solitary confinement for a period of time deemed appropriate, taking into account the severity of the offence and also other factors including previous infractions.

In cases of successful escape attempts, all efforts should be made to recapture the escapees. Use of lethal force should be withheld until it is absolutely necessary and all other options have been exhausted. Neighbouring friendly units should be alerted as soon as is feasible, and all efforts be made to re-capture the prisoners. Methods of prevention could include the tagging of all prisoners, which would aid activities in camp and also when they are on the run. However, failing that, tracker dogs are a good bet, but the prisoner must remain relatively unharmed. Upon capture, they are to be returned to their previous camp, where they will gather their effects, and be moved to a different camp in an attempt to avoid the same problem occurring. If this cannot be facilitated, then the previous route must be determined, and additional manpower assigned to guard it. The prisoner/s in question must also be isolated from the rest for as long as the Commandant sees fit

Clause VIII: Regarding information extraction
Interrogation is an integral part of being a prisoner of war, and we recognise that in order to gain potentially accurate human intelligence is not an opportunity to pass upon lightly. However, it has come to light that the treatment of said sources of intelligence is in many cases vulgar and highly physically damaging.

Torture is not to be supported by any person who signs this treaty. This is interrogation, not torture. For a full definition of interrogation, see here: However, we recognise that some nations are subtler in their information extraction techniques, relying more on mental than physical. Referring to Clause III, paragraph G:

‘All those who have signed this document also understand that the prisoners are not to be subject to physical, mental, or sexual abuse during their time in the hands of their enemy’

It is apparent that we appear to have a problem. In order to bypass this, information extraction is to be carried out in the presence of a neutral third party, who will ensure that the levels of extraction do not reach the levels whereby they are termed as abuse.

In many cases, chemicals can be used in order to encourage the prisoner to reveal the truth. All those who sign this treaty recognise the use of such chemicals, a partial list of which can be found at this address:
28-06-2005, 23:02
You have a 3000-3200 character limit. Time to edit...
28-06-2005, 23:05
1. It strikes me as larger than 3500 characters and thus unsubmittable (no, I haven't counted, it just seems really, really long).

2. Off-site and RL references, URL's or not, are not allowed, IIRC.
Snake Eaters
28-06-2005, 23:07
Good thing it's in MS Word then... yeah, kinda big... man, a 3500 character count sucks. It's over 10,000... any ideas as to what I can cut out?
28-06-2005, 23:11
Don't we already have the Wolfish Convention on POW (
Snake Eaters
28-06-2005, 23:23
I missed that. Anyway, it looks like mine is too long anyway... so I'll leave it to Nationstates