Geneva Convention

Article 15, first paragraph of the 1949 Geneva Convention states that parties to the conflict must take all possible measures to prevent the dead from being despoiled. The UK Military Manual (1958) also insists that “the dead must be protected against pillage”, specifying that “this is a well-established rule of customary international law”. Malaysia’s Armed Forces Act (1972) provides that “every person subject to service law under this Act” who steals or plans to steal from the person killed in “warlike operations” can be convicted by court-martial to imprisonment.

The 1949 Geneva Convention was based on the “Tokyo Draft” proposed by the Red Cross in Tokyo, Japan, in 1934.

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