It clarified and strengthened old laws and customs of war protecting the wounded and the people caring for them.
Only States may become part of international agreements, and to the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their 1977 Additional Protocols. But, non-State entities may accept the laws or rules contained in IHL treaties...
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But, non-State entities may accept the laws or rules contained in IHL treaties.
There are certain basic rules are said to apply to all armed groups as well, those contained in Article 3 common to all four Geneva Conventions, relating to non-international wars. Such rules, which don't allow torture and the taking of hostages, are also part of the law...