Legal framework

The activity of the National Societies within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, including the Hungarian Red Cross, is defined by The Geneva Conventions of 1949, their Additional Protocols of 1977 and the Statute of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement adopted in October 1986, Geneva. The activity of the Hungarian Red Cross is regulated by Act XL of 1993.

http://www.complex.hu/kzldat/t9300040.htm/t9300040.htm

In accordance with international and Hungarian legislation, the Hungarian Red Cross cooperates with the Hungarian authorities, and completes their activities in order to help them fulfil their humanitarian obligations prescribed in The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols.

The Geneva Conventions (1949)

1. First Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field. Geneva, 12 August 1949.

2. Second Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea. Geneva, 12 August 1949.

3. Third Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.

4. Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.

Additional Protocols (Geneva, 1977)

1. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, Protocol I

2. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts, Protocol II

Excerpts from the above mentioned documents’ sections related to tracing activities:

IV. Geneva Convention
Article 25

All persons in the territory of a Party to the conflict, or in a territory occupied by it, shall be enabled to give news of a strictly personal nature to members of their families, wherever they may be, and to receive news from them. This correspondence shall be forwarded speedily and without undue delay.

If, as a result of circumstances, it becomes difficult or impossible to exchange family correspondence by the ordinary post, the Parties to the conflict concerned shall apply to a neutral intermediary, and shall decide in consultation with it how to ensure the fulfilment of their obligations under the best possible conditions, in particular with the co-operation of the National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Societies.

IV. Geneva Convention
Article 26

Each Party to the conflict shall facilitate enquiries made by members of families dispersed owing to the war, with the object of renewing contact with one another and of meeting, if possible. It shall encourage, in particular, the work of organizations engaged on this task provided they are acceptable to it and conform to its security regulations.

I. Additional Protocol
Article 32

In the implementation of this Section, the activities of the High Contracting Parties, of the Parties to the conflict and of the international humanitarian organizations mentioned in the Conventions and in this Protocol shall be prompted mainly by the right of families to know the fate of their relatives.

I. Additional Protocol
Article 33

1.As soon as circumstances permit, and at the latest from the end of active hostilities, each Party to the conflict shall search for the persons who have been reported missing by an adverse Party. Such adverse Party shall transmit all relevant information concerning such persons in order to facilitate such searches.

3. Information concerning persons reported missing pursuant to paragraph 1 and requests for such information shall be transmitted either directly or through the Protecting Power or the Central Tracing Agency of the International Committee of the Red Cross or national Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Societies. Where the information is not transmitted through the International Committee of the Red Cross and its Central Tracing Agency, each Party to the conflict shall ensure that such information is also supplied to the Central Tracing Agency.

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