The convention lasted from 8 to 22 August 1864. 16 states were represented.
Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in
the Field. Geneva, 22 August 1864
10 articles were proposed and accepted at the end of the convention on 22 August 1864
Article 1. Ambulances and military hospitals shall be recognized as neutral, and as such,
protected and respected by the belligerents as long as they accommodate wounded and sick.
Neutrality shall end if the said ambulances or hospitals should be held by a military force.
Art. 2. Hospital and ambulance personnel, including the quarter-master's staff, the medical,
administrative and transport services, and the chaplains, shall have the benefit of the same
neutrality when on duty, and while there remain any wounded to be brought in or assisted.
Art. 3. The persons designated in the preceding Article may, even after enemy occupation,
continue to discharge their functions in the hospital or ambulance with which they serve, or may
withdraw to rejoin the units to which they belong.
When in these circumstances they cease from their functions, such persons shall be
delivered to the enemy outposts by the occupying forces.
Art. 4. The material of military hospitals being subject to the laws of war, the persons attached to
such hospitals may take with them, on withdrawing, only the articles which are their own
Ambulances, on the contrary, under similar circumstances, shall retain their equipment.
Art. 5. Inhabitants of the country who bring help to the wounded shall be respected and shall
remain free. Generals of the belligerent Powers shall make it their duty to notify the inhabitants
of the appeal made to their humanity, and of the neutrality which humane conduct will confer.
The presence of any wounded combatant receiving shelter and care in a house shall ensure
its protection. An inhabitant who has given shelter to the wounded shall be exempted from
billeting and from a portion of such war contributions as may be levied.
Art. 6. Wounded or sick combatants, to whatever nation they may belong, shall be collected and
Commanders-in-Chief may hand over immediately to the enemy outposts enemy combatants
wounded during an engagement, when circumstances allow and subject to the agreement of
Those who, after their recovery, are recognized as being unfit for further service, shall be
The others may likewise be sent back, on condition that they shall not again, for the duration
of hostilities, take up arms.
Evacuation parties, and the personnel conducting them, shall be considered as being
Art. 7. A distinctive and uniform flag shall be adopted for hospitals, ambulances and evacuation
parties. It should in all circumstances be accompanied by the national flag.
An armlet may also be worn by personnel enjoying neutrality but its issue shall be left to the
Both flag and armlet shall bear a red cross on a white ground.
Art. 8. The implementing of the present Convention shall be arranged by the
Commanders-in-Chief of the belligerent armies following the instructions of their respective
Governments and in accordance with the general principles set forth in this Convention.
Art. 9. The High Contracting Parties have agreed to communicate the present Convention with
an invitation to accede thereto to Governments unable to appoint Plenipotentiaries to the
International Conference at Geneva. The Protocol has accordingly been left open.
Art. 10. The present Convention shall be ratified and the ratifications exchanged at Berne, within
the next four months, or sooner if possible.