Article 3, Commonly Applied to All Four Protocols of the General Conventions contains the essential rules from which no derogation is permitted. It binds all parties to the conflict to respect, as a minimum, that persons taking no direct part in hostilities as well as those placed hors de combat (those not taking part in hostilities anymore), shall be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction. 

Among other things:

  • It specifically prohibits murder, mutilation, torture, the taking of hostages, unfair trial, and cruel, humiliating and degrading treatment.
  • It requires that the wounded and sick be collected and cared for.