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History And Development Of International Humanitarian Law
The term ‘international humanitarian law’ refers to the current understanding of the laws concerning the conduct of warfare. The ICRC (International Committee of Red Cross), guardian and promoter of International Humanitarian Law describes it in the following manner:
“International humanitarian law is part of the body of international law that governs relations between states. It aims to protect persons who are not or are no longer taking part in hostilities, the sick and wounded, prisoners and civilians, and to define the rights and obligations of the parties to a conflict in the conduct of hostilities”
International Law was earlier known as the Law of Wars to protect those who do not take part in the hostilities. Even in absence of any international document the earliest societies or communities would follow some rules of war during conflict either as per the instructions of the community leader or customs or religions.
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Geneva Conventions, a series of international treaties concluded in Geneva between 1864 and 1949 for the purpose of ameliorating the effects of war on soldiers and civilians. Two additional protocols to the 1949 agreement were approved in 1977.
The development of the Geneva Conventions was closely associated with the Red Cross, whose founder, Henri Dunant, initiated international negotiations that produced the Convention for the Amelioration of the Wounded in Time of War in 1864. This convention provided for (1) the immunity from capture and destruction of all establishments for the treatment of wounded and sick soldiers and their personnel, (2) the impartial reception and treatment of all combatants, (3) the protection of civilians providing aid to the wounded, and (4) the recognition of the Red Cross symbol as a means of identifying persons and equipment covered by the agreement.
The 1864 convention was ratified within three years by all the major European powers as well as by many other states. It was amended and extended by the second Geneva Convention in 1906, and its provisions were applied to maritime warfare through the Hague conventions of 1899 and 1907. The third Geneva Convention, the Convention Relating to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (1929), required that belligerents treat prisoners of war humanely, furnish information about them, and permit official visits to prison camps by representatives of neutral states.
Because some belligerents in World War II had abused the principles contained in earlier conventions, an International Red Cross conference in Stockholm in 1948 extended and codified the existing provisions. The conference developed four conventions, which were approved in Geneva on August 12, 1949: (1) the Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, (2) the Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick, and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, (3) the Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, and (4) the Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
The first two conventions elaborated on the principle that the sick and wounded have neutral status. The prisoner-of-war convention further developed the 1929 convention by requiring humane treatment, adequate feeding, and the delivery of relief supplies and by forbidding pressure on prisoners to supply more than a minimum of information. The fourth convention contained little that had not been established in international law before World War II. Although the convention was not original, the disregard of humanitarian principles during the war made the restatement of its principles particularly important and timely. The convention forbade inter alia the deportation of individuals or groups, the taking of hostages, torture, collective punishment, offenses that constitute “outrages upon personal dignity,” the imposition of judicial sentences (including executions) without due-process guarantees, and discriminatory treatment on the basis of race, religion, nationality, or political beliefs.
In the decades following World War II, the large number of anticolonial and insurrectionary wars threatened to render the Geneva Conventions obsolete. After four years of Red Cross-sponsored negotiations, two additional protocols to the 1949 conventions, covering both combatants and civilians, were approved in 1977. The first, Protocol I, extended protection under the Geneva and Hague conventions to persons involved in wars of “ self-determination,” which were redefined as international conflicts. The protocol also enabled the establishment of fact-finding commissions in cases of alleged breaches of the convention. The second protocol, Protocol II, extended human rights protections to persons involved in severe civil conflicts, which had not been covered by the 1949 accords. It specifically prohibited collective punishment, torture, the taking of hostages, acts of terrorism, slavery, and “outrages on the personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, rape, enforced prostitution and any form of indecent assault.”
The end of the Cold War, during which tensions between ethnic groups had been suppressed in states throughout eastern and central Europe and elsewhere, gave rise to a number of civil wars, blurring the distinction between internal and international conflicts and complicating the application of relevant legal rules. In a number of cases (e.g., in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Somalia), the United Nations Security Council declared that internal conflicts amounted to a threat to or a breach of international peace and security, which thus made its resolutions on the conflicts binding on the combatants. Because of the Security Council’s activities in expanding the definition of international armed conflicts, an increasing number of rules outlined in the Geneva Conventions and their protocols have come to be regarded as binding on all states. Such rules include the humane treatment of civilians and of prisoners of war.
More than 180 states have become parties to the 1949 conventions. Approximately 150 states are party to Protocol I more than 145 states are party to Protocol II, though the United States is not. In addition, more than 50 states have made declarations accepting the competence of international fact-finding commissions to investigate allegations of grave breaches or other serious violations of the conventions or of Protocol I.
The importance of the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols was reflected in the establishment of war-crimes tribunals for Yugoslavia (1993) and Rwanda (1994) and by the Rome Statute (1998), which created an International Criminal Court.
This section surveys the history of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from its founding in 1579 to the present. For a discussion of the period prior to that date, see Low Countries, history of the.
Belgium declared its independence from the Netherlands, and it was recognized in 1831 as a separate nation. For several years the Greeks had been fighting for their independence from the Ottoman Empire, and in 1832 the European powers recognized Greece as an independent sovereign state.
…an armed conflict between the Netherlands and the Muslim sultanate of Aceh (also spelled Acheh, or Atjeh) in northern Sumatra that resulted in Dutch conquest of the Acehnese and, ultimately, in Dutch domination of the entire region. In 1871 the Netherlands and Britain had signed a treaty that recognized Dutch…
…taught the English to respect Dutch naval strength as much as they envied its commercial wealth. Foreign attitudes were ambivalent because this small state was not only the newest but also the richest per capita and quite different from any other. The nation of seamen and merchants was also the…
…of Spain in 1779 and the Netherlands in 1780, effected important changes in the naval aspect of the war. The Spanish and Dutch were not particularly active, but their role in keeping British naval forces tied down in Europe was significant. The British navy could not maintain an effective blockade…
After 1780 Spain and the Netherlands were able to control much of the water around the British Isles, thus keeping the bulk of British naval forces tied down in Europe.
…early 16th century by the Dutch and the English. The motive was trade with the Far East. The known sea routes around the southern tips of Africa and South America had been claimed as a monopoly by Portugal and Spain, respectively, and were long and arduous besides the overland routes…
After the defeat of Napoleon, the Allied powers were determined not to leave the Belgian territories in the hands of France. Under the influence of Great Britain, it was decided that the territories would be united in a single state with…
…of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. This reunion of the southern and northern provinces, which had been separated in the 16th century, lasted 15 years (1815–30). During this period Brussels shared the status of capital with The Hague. Its appearance changed appreciably, above all because of the demolition of…
…of the present Kingdom of the Netherlands and which achieved a position of world power in the 17th century. The republic consisted of the seven northern Netherlands provinces that won independence from Spain from 1568 to 1609, and it grew out of the Union of Utrecht (1579), which was designed…
…faced intensified competition from the Dutch, who from about 1580 introduced a new ship design (the fluitschip, a sturdy, cheaply built cargo vessel) and new techniques of shipbuilding, including wind-powered saws. Freight charges dropped and the size of the Dutch merchant marine soared by the mid-17th century, it probably exceeded…
…War, (1568–1648), the war of Netherlands independence from Spain, which led to the separation of the northern and southern Netherlands and to the formation of the United Provinces of the Netherlands (the Dutch Republic). The first phase of the war began with two unsuccessful invasions of the provinces by mercenary…
…the importance of the Dutch Republic in the 17th century. Because Holland contributed little to science, philosophy, or even art at the time of the philosophes, though enviable enough in the tranquil lives of many of its citizens, its golden 17th century tends to be overlooked in traditional accounts of…
The Rhineland and Holland were occupied, and in 1795 Holland, Tuscany, Prussia, and Spain negotiated for peace. When the French army under Bonaparte entered Italy (1796), Sardinia came quickly to terms. Austria was the last to give in (Treaty of Campo Formio,
…forces whose military actions initiated the Netherlands’ revolt against Spanish rule (1568–1609). The term was first applied derisively to the lesser nobility who, together with some of the great Netherlands magnates, in 1566 petitioned Margaret of Parma, governor-general of the Netherlands, to relax the religious persecution against Protestants. Receiving partial…
…content himself with the southern Netherlands and with the former Spanish possessions on the mainland of Italy, together with Mantua (annexed by him in 1708) and Sardinia. Sardinia, however, was exchanged by him in 1717 for Sicily, which the peacemakers of Utrecht had assigned to the House of Savoy. With…
…territory of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg as well as parts of northern France. However, Belgium, although it was not constituted as an independent kingdom until 1831, became a distinct entity after 1585, when the southern provinces were definitively reconquered by Spain and separated from the northern…
The Netherlands and Britain also signed a preliminary treaty on September 2, 1783, and a final separate peace on May 20, 1784.
…as PCGG) began in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on November 6, 1919. Other early Dutch stations were operated by the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (to send information to new members) and by a news agency that was seeking a new way to serve newspaper subscribers. Another early station appeared in Canada when station…
In Belgium, the Netherlands, and Denmark it manifested itself in peaceful reforms of existing institutions, but democratic insurrections broke out in the capitals of the three great monarchies, Paris, Vienna, and Berlin, where the governments, rendered powerless by their fear of “the revolution,” did little to defend themselves.…
France, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and the United States to advise them on economic, social, and health matters affecting the South Pacific island territories they administered. It is the oldest regional organization in the Pacific and is headquartered in Nouméa, New Caledonia. Guam and the Trust…
Raleigh wrote that the Dutch ships of the period were so easy to sail that a crew one-third the size used in English craft could operate them. Efforts were made to accomplish technical improvements on English copies of Venetian and Genoese traders. These ultimately resulted in the East Indiaman…
…of Sweden and the United Netherlands, which had at last thrown off the yoke of Spain after a struggle lasting 80 years. A parallel struggle involved the rivalry of France with the Habsburgs of the empire and with the Habsburgs of Spain, who had been attempting to construct a cordon…
…that the conflict in the Netherlands would be resolved in Spain’s favour later, making a concerted Habsburg attack on the Protestants of the empire both ineluctable and irresistible.
The war in the Netherlands was the first to be ended: on Jan. 30, 1648, Philip IV of Spain signed a peace that recognized the Dutch Republic as independent and agreed to liberalize trade between the Netherlands and the Iberian world. The French government, led since Richelieu’s death (Dec.…
…can be studied in the Dutch towns in the years after 1648 when regents gained control. Everywhere elites were composed of those who had no business role. Among other labels for this period, when a profession seemed to be more desirable than trade, “a time of lawyers” might be appropriate.…
The Dutch became the foremost slave traders during parts of the 1600s, and in the following century English and French merchants controlled about half of the transatlantic slave trade, taking a large percentage of their human cargo from the region of West Africa between the…
…craze reached its height in Holland during 1633–37. Before 1633 Holland’s tulip trade had been restricted to professional growers and experts, but the steadily rising prices tempted many ordinary middle-class and poor families to speculate in the tulip market. Homes, estates, and industries were mortgaged so that bulbs could be…
…to the new Kingdom of the Netherlands, which comprised both the former United Provinces and Belgium. Austria was compensated by Lombardy and Venice and got back most of Tirol. Bavaria, Württemberg, and Baden on the whole did well. Hanover was
Germany, France, and the Netherlands each achieved a settlement of the religious problem by means of war, and in each case the solution contained original aspects. In Germany the territorial formula of cuius regio, eius religio applied—that is, in each petty state the population had to conform to the…
War between Spain and the Dutch and the German phase of the Thirty Years’ War. The peace was negotiated, from 1644, in the Westphalian towns of Münster and Osnabrück. The Spanish-Dutch treaty was signed on January 30, 1648. The treaty of October 24, 1648, comprehended the Holy Roman emperor Ferdinand…
…the southernmost part of the Netherlands. With their right wing entering France near Lille, the Germans would continue to wheel westward until they were near the English Channel they would then turn southward so as to sever the French armies’ line of retreat from France’s eastern frontier to the south…
Colonialism and exploration
New Netherland, founded in 1624 at Fort Orange (now Albany) by the Dutch West India Company, was but one element in a wider program of Dutch expansion in the first half of the 17th century. In 1664 the English captured the colony of New Netherland,…
The colonial efforts of the Netherlands and Sweden were motivated primarily by commerce. Dutch businessmen formed several colonial monopolies soon after their country gained independence from Spain in the late 16th century. The Dutch West India Company
…its neighbours in 1947, between the Netherlands and Indonesia in 1947, between India and Pakistan in 1948, between Israel and its neighbours in 1949, between Israel, Great Britain, France, and Egypt in 1956, and between Israel, Jordan, and Egypt in 1970. None of these states was at the time
…century, however, an increase in Dutch and British interests in the region gave rise to a series of voyages, including those of James Lancaster (1591 and 1601), Cornelis de Houtman and Frederik de Houtman (1595 and 1598), and Jacob van Neck (1598). In 1602 the Dutch East India Company (formal…
…(in 1591) and by the Dutch. Its power reached its height in the time of Sultan Iskandar Muda (1607–36). In that period there were frequent wars with the Portuguese at Malacca (now Melaka), and the Portuguese fleet was defeated at Bintan in 1614. The Dutch (1599) and the English (1602)…
…European administration began with the Dutch, who annexed Bangka and Belitung in 1806. The region was occupied by the British in 1812 (during the Napoleonic Wars), but Bangka was returned to the Dutch in 1814, followed by Belitung in 1816, and the islands were absorbed into the Dutch East Indies.
…relations—some amicable, some hostile—with Portuguese, Dutch, British, and other European traders, all seeking to dominate the spice market. The Dutch East India Company ultimately won the monopoly and absorbed the sultanate of Banten into its operation through a treaty in 1684. After the dissolution of the company in 1799, coastal…
The Dutch conspired with the Bugis of Bone, who were led by Arung Palakka, and succeeded in overthrowing Gowa in 1669. Arung Palakka then emerged as the most powerful ruler on the island internecine warfare, however, paved the way for the gradual extension of the Dutch…
…centuries the Portuguese and the Dutch were in frequent conflict in the area, and the island of Timor became a Dutch colony in 1859. The Japanese occupied East Nusa Tenggara during World War II (1939–45). It was incorporated into the Republic of Indonesia in 1950.
…the conversion of Gowa, the Dutch arrived on Celebes. In 1658 they built a fort at Manado, on the tip of the northern peninsula, and the following decade they attacked and defeated Gowa with the help of Gowa’s rival, the Buginese state of Bone (now called Watampone). Gowa formally surrendered…
…early 16th century, and the Dutch, beginning in 1599, established settlements on some of the islands. The Dutch conquest was completed in 1667, when the sultan of Tidore (now in North Maluku) recognized Dutch sovereignty. The islands were ruled by the British between 1796 and 1802 and again in 1810–17.…
…later, the Spanish, English, and Dutch wrestled for control of the islands. Eventually, the Dutch emerged victorious, and they earned large profits from their enterprise in the Moluccas. By the end of the 18th century, however, the spice trade had greatly diminished, and the islands had become an economic backwater.
…early 16th century, and the Dutch, beginning in 1599, established settlements on some of the islands. The Dutch conquest was completed in 1667, when the sultan of the island of Tidore recognized Dutch sovereignty. The islands were ruled by the British between 1796 and 1802 and again in 1810–17 they…
The Dutch, who had arrived on Celebes in the early 17th century and built a fort at Manado in 1658, attacked and defeated Gowa in 1669 with the help of Gowa’s rivals, the neighbouring Bugis of Bone (now called Watampone). The Dutch subsequently established other trading…
The British and Dutch vied for control of the region during the 17th and 18th centuries the British surrendered their interests in Sumatra to the Dutch in 1871, and by 1903 the Dutch had gained complete control of the northern part of the island. Following Japanese occupation during…
The Dutch arrived in 1596, and the British followed shortly afterward. Rivalries between the European powers and attacks by sea pirates adversely affected the fortunes of the region, which had come under Dutch control by the end of the 18th century.
…of the 17th century, the Dutch and the British landed at Bantam (near present-day Banten), on the western end of Java. By the late 18th century—after a period of intense rivalry between the European powers, particularly the British and the Dutch—the Dutch had wrested the port town of Melaka from…
…Gowa’s acceptance of Islam, the Dutch established a trading post at the town of Makassar, which led to warfare with Gowa and to an alliance between the Dutch and the Bugis prince of Bone (now Watampone), Arung Palakka. With Bugis assistance, the Dutch ultimately defeated the Gowa leader in 1669…
…Gowa’s acceptance of Islam, the Dutch established a trading post in the town of Makassar, which led to warfare with Gowa and to an alliance between the Dutch and the Bugis prince of Bone (now Watampone), Arung Palakka. With Bugis assistance, the Dutch ultimately defeated the Gowa leader in 1669…
…was subsequently visited by Spanish, Dutch, German, and English explorers. The English attempted to found a colony near Manokwari in 1793. The Dutch claimed the western half of New Guinea in 1828, but their first permanent administrative posts, at Fakfak and Manokwari, were not set up until 1898. Haji Misbach,…
…the conversion of Gowa, the Dutch arrived in Celebes. Their establishment of a trading post at Makassar, on the island’s southwestern peninsula, ultimately intensified the rivalry between Gowa and the neighbouring Buginese state of Bone. In 1660 the Buginese nobleman Arung Palakka was defeated by the Makassarese and took refuge…
Shortly thereafter, in 1596, the Dutch entered the area and began to establish a firm foothold in western Sumatra. In the early 19th century, control of the island passed temporarily to the British. The Dutch managed to reestablish themselves in the region after intervening on behalf of the Minangkabau royal…
…as a colony of the Netherlands following Henry Hudson’s exploration in 1609 of the river later named for him. In 1624 at what is today Albany, the Dutch established Fort Orange as the first permanent European settlement in New York. One year later New Amsterdam was established at the southern…
…began in 1630 by the Dutch. Indian attacks dispelled permanent settlers until 1661, when the Dutch West India Company granted lands to French Waldenses and Huguenots and a colony was established at Oude Dorp (“Old Town”), a few miles south of The Narrows (the channel separating the island from Brooklyn).…
…cosmopolitan atmosphere was retained when Dutch control ended and Britain assumed power. Jews, Roman Catholics, and numerous ethnic groups lived in Manhattan before the end of the 17th century, but political control remained in the hands of the established merchant elite. When the American Revolution began, more prominent Dutch families—the…
It was not the first Dutch settlement in North America, but the advantages of its location made it immensely valuable. In May 1626 Peter Minuit arrived with orders to secure title to the land. He quickly negotiated the real estate deal of the millennium, purchasing the area from a band…
The Dutch were the second colonial power to influence the history of Central Africa. Their impact was felt in ways rather different from that of the Portuguese. They were more interested in commodities than in slaves and so opened up the market for ivory. The old…
…it was taken by the Dutch and occupied by the Dutch West India Company. As part of the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba came briefly under British rule during the Napoleonic Wars but was returned to the Netherlands in 1816.
Late in 1605 Willem Jansz (Janszoon) of Amsterdam sailed aboard the Duyfken from Bantam in the Dutch East Indies in search of New Guinea. He reached the Torres Strait a few weeks before Torres and named what was later to prove part of the…
…Territory, however, came with the Dutch, the colonial successors to the Portuguese in the archipelago. In 1605 the Duyfken, commanded by the Dutch explorer Willem Jansz, explored the eastern shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Eighteen years later Willem van Colster in the Arnhem touched briefly at the northwestern tip…
…followed the move of the Dutch East India Company into the Indian Ocean in the early 17th century. Between the landfall of Dirck Hartog in 1616 and the reconnoitering voyages of Abel Janszoon Tasman in 1642 and 1644, the outline of Australia’s western coast was filled in, but the region…
The Dutch first visited Bali in 1597, when the island was divided among a number of warring Muslim states. The Dutch annexed the northern Balinese states of Buleleng and Jembrana in 1882, and, in the 1894 Dutch invasion of nearby Lombok Island, the Balinese prince, Anak…
…enemies, including the newly independent Netherlands. The Dutch seized and briefly held Salvador in 1624–25, and in 1630 the Dutch West India Company dispatched a fleet that captured Pernambuco, which remained under Dutch control for a quarter-century. The company chose as governor of its new possession John Maurice, count of…
…but the impact of the Netherlands was more directly felt, for the Dutch seized Bahia in 1624, holding it to 1625, and controlled the important captaincy of Pernambuco from 1630 to 1654.
British and Dutch decolonization in East Asia began in 1947 with the independence of India and the creation of Pakistan. Burma and Ceylon followed in 1948, and the Dutch East Indies in 1949. Malaya’s independence was delayed until 1957 by a communist campaign of terror, quelled by…
…Minh in Indochina, while the Dutch failed to subdue nationalists in Indonesia and granted independence in 1949. The United States transferred power peacefully in the Philippines in 1946.
…met with opposition from the Dutch in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and the Portuguese. The Dutch virtually excluded company members from the East Indies after the Amboina Massacre in 1623 (an incident in which English, Japanese, and Portuguese traders were executed by Dutch authorities), but the company’s defeat…
The Dutch next took up the search for the passage. The Dutch navigator William Barents made three expeditions between 1594 and 1597 (when he died in Novaya Zemlya, modern Russia). The English navigator Henry Hudson, in the employ of the Dutch, discovered between 1605 and 1607…
the Netherlands and Germany, fronting the North Sea and including the Frisian Islands. It has been divided since 1815 into Friesland, a province of the Netherlands, and the Ostfriesland and Nordfriesland regions of northwestern Germany. Frisia is the traditional homeland of the Frisians, a Germanic…
…the area in 1593, the Dutch began in 1602 to settle along the Essequibo, Courantyne, and Cayenne rivers and were followed by the Dutch West India Company (1621), which received what is now Guyana, and later Suriname. The company introduced African slaves to work its tobacco, cotton, and coffee plantations.…
It was the Dutch who finally began European settlement, establishing trading posts upriver in about 1580. By the mid-17th century the Dutch had begun importing slaves from West Africa to cultivate sugarcane. In the 18th century the Dutch, joined by other Europeans, moved their estates downriver toward the…
…1610–11) and once for the Dutch (1609), tried to discover a short route from Europe to Asia through the Arctic Ocean, in both the Old World and the New. A river, a strait, and a bay in North America are named for him.
In the race to the East after the Spanish obstacle had been removed, the Dutch, having ample resources, were the first to arrive after the Portuguese. Their first voyage was in 1595, helped by the local knowledge of Jan Huyghen van Linschoten, who…
…had to deal with the Dutch, who, hearing of Mīr Jaʿfar’s restiveness and alarmed by the growth of British power in Bengal, sent an armament of six ships to their station at Chinsura on the Hooghly River. Though Britain was at peace with the Netherlands at the time, Clive maneuvered…
…for Muslim competition with the Dutch into the third quarter of the 17th century, when its greatest monarch, Ḥasan al-Dīn (ruled 1631–70), was forced to cede his independence. Meanwhile, however, a serious Islamic presence was developing in Java, inland as well as on the coasts by the early 17th century…
…Cheribon Agreement, treaty between the Dutch and the Republic of Indonesia drafted on Nov. 15, 1946, at Linggadjati (now Linggajati) near Cheribon (now Cirebon, formerly Tjirebon, western Java). Soon after the capitulation of the Japanese in World War II, the independence of the Republic of Indonesia was declared, on Aug.…
…from their homeland by the Dutch, established a dynasty in the Malay state of Selangor, became the power behind the throne of the state of Johore, and were powerful influences in the states of Kedah and Perak.
In 1821 Dutch forces intervened, responding to a request for aid from the secular leaders but also seeking to cut off Minangkabau trade with the British at Benkulen (Bengkulu in modern Sumatra) and on Penang Island. The Java War (1825–30), however, diverted Dutch energies, and Imam Bondjol’s…
The Dutch, attracted by salt deposits, occupied the islands in the early 17th century, and, except for brief periods of British occupation, the islands have remained Dutch possessions. Through much of the 17th and 18th centuries, the islands prospered from Dutch trade in slaves, plantation products,…
It was the Dutch, however, who claimed the western half of the island as part of the Dutch East Indies in 1828 their control remained nominal until 1898, when their first permanent administrative posts were set up at Fakfak and Manokwari.
Thereafter, the Dutch, who were already established in Indonesia, entered the Pacific. They too looked for a southern continent. In 1615–16 the Dutch navigator Jakob Le Maire traveled from the east through the Tuamotus to Tonga and New Ireland and New Hanover in the Bismarck Archipelago. In…
During the Dutch period—roughly the 17th century—Jakob Le Maire and Willem Corneliszoon Schouten discovered inhabited islands in the northern Tuamotu Archipelago, as well as islands in the Tonga group and Alofi and Futuna islands. The best-known of the Dutch explorers, Abel Janszoon Tasman, visited islands in the…
…historically and administratively with the Netherlands, the northern two-thirds with France.
…trading site, forestalled by the Dutch at Riau, and finding the Carimon (Karimun) Islands unsuitable, landed at Singapore. He found only a few Chinese planters, some aborigines, and a few Malays and was told by the hereditary chief, the temenggong (direct ancestor of the sultans of present-day Johor, Malaysia), that…
…the century, the imprint of Dutch colonialism in South Africa was clear, with settlers, aided by increasing numbers of slaves, growing wheat, tending vineyards, and grazing their sheep and cattle from the Cape peninsula to the Hottentots Holland Mountains some 30 miles (50 km) away. A 1707 census of the…
…on Java in 1618, the Dutch found themselves embroiled in the succession disputes of the court of Mataram and, by the late 1740s, virtual kingmakers and shareholders in the realm. Finally, Europeans did bring with them much that was new. Some items shaped Southeast Asian life in unexpected ways: the…
…numbers of resident French and Dutch and because of extensive investments. The result in both countries was an armed struggle in which the Western power was eventually defeated and independence secured. The Indonesian revolution, for all its internal complexities, was won in little more than four years with a combination…
Apart from the Portuguese enclaves in Angola and Mozambique, the only other area of European settlement in Southern Africa in the 17th and 18th centuries was the Dutch settlement at the Cape of Good Hope. In the late 16th century the…
…saw the arrival of the Dutch as an excellent opportunity to gain naval support against his adversaries. The first Dutch envoy, Joris van Spilbergen, met the king in July 1602 and made lavish promises of military assistance. A few months later another Dutch official, Sebald de Weert, arrived with a…
Dutch rule in Sri Lanka was implemented though the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-indische Compagnie commonly called VOC), a trading company established in 1602 primarily to protect Dutch trade interests in the Indian Ocean. Although the VOC first…
When the Netherlands came under French control, the British began to move into Sri Lanka from India. The Dutch, after a halfhearted resistance, surrendered the island in 1796. The British had thought the conquest temporary and administered the island from Madras (Chennai) in southern India. The…
…year it was ceded to the Netherlands in exchange for New Amsterdam (now New York City). (Except for the years 1799–1802 and 1804–15, when it was under British rule, Suriname remained under Dutch rule until its independence in 1975.)
…group was visited by the Dutch in 1629 and claimed by them in 1639 by right of discovery, but Dutch rule was not established on the islands until 1900. The people are basically Melanesians of the Papuan variety, but there has been much mixture with Asian peoples. There are many…
…coast in 1902–03 and a Dutch attack upon their navy in 1908. Ill health forced Castro to go to Europe for medical attention in 1908, whereupon Gómez usurped the presidential powers and did not relinquish them until his death 27 years later.
…with western Africa were the Dutch, who had been some of the principal distributors in northwestern Europe of the Asian, African, and American produce imported into Portugal and Spain. After the northern Netherlands had revolted against Spanish rule, however, and Philip II of Spain (who since 1580 had been king…
…forts also, but the continued Dutch presence on the coast prevented them from raising an effective revenue from customs duties, and they quarreled with the coastal peoples over the issue of direct taxation. They therefore failed to erect an effective coastal administration of their own on the foundation laid by…
Austria gained the Spanish Netherlands (henceforth known as the Austrian Netherlands), a territory corresponding approximately to modern Belgium and Luxembourg. These gains were somewhat impaired, however, by the Dutch privilege of stationing garrisons in a number of fortresses. In Italy, Austria received Milan, Mantua, Mirandola, the continental part of…
…rivalry also extended into the Netherlands, which was dependent on English wool for industrial prosperity but some of whose states, including Flanders, were subject to French claims of suzerainty. Finally, there was the matter of the French throne itself. Edward, through his mother, was closer in blood to the last…
…forgot Elizabeth’s interference in the Netherlands, where Dutch Protestants were in full revolt. At first, aid had been limited to money and the harbouring of Dutch ships in English ports, but, after the assassination of the Protestant leader, William I, in 1584, the position of the rebels became so desperate…
…Austria to Spain and the Netherlands (the future Charles V was born of this union in 1500) and in 1516 Maximilian’s grandson Ferdinand was betrothed to the heiress of Hungary and Bohemia. These connections, however, only escalated Maximilian’s internal and external problems. In foreign politics his ventures ended, for the…
…established the independence of the Netherlands from Spain and of Switzerland from the empire. Most significant of all, it guaranteed the nearly unlimited territorial sovereignty of German princes, bringing to an end the last effort (until the 19th century) to centralize power in the empire. In this way the Peace…
The Dutch trading post of Deshima in Nagasaki Harbour was Japan’s primary window on the outside world, providing a steady stream of Western visual images, most often in print form and frequently once removed from Europe through a Chinese interpretation. Western themes, techniques, and certain optical…
The Netherlands, the only European power trading with Japan, realized that, if Britain succeeded in forcing Japan to open the country, it would lose its monopoly so the Dutch now planned to seize the initiative in opening Japan and thus to turn the situation to their…
Britain and the Netherlands, who sought to guard the commercial privileges that they had secured from the sultan through the Capitulations by preventing any country from gaining control of the entire Ottoman Empire and thereby becoming dominant in Europe. Russia and Austria fought the Ottomans not only by…
…allowed many to emigrate to Holland, where their experience with Portuguese trade was put at the service of the Dutch.
…potash) to the English and Dutch, and its merchants took a leading role in the early exploitation of Siberia. The government itself became deeply involved in the development of trade and commerce, both through its monopolistic control of certain areas and commodities and by its efforts to build up such…
…the Spaniards nevertheless accused the Netherlanders of greed and place hunting. It took Charles’s Netherlandish ministers a year and a half to settle the Netherlandish government and to make agreements with France and England that would allow the boy king to take possession of his new kingdom without outside interference.…
Dutch troops had conquered Jacatra (now Jakarta) in 1619 and established there a base they named Batavia. In 1629 the sultan’s forces attacked the city in an effort to drive out the Europeans, but superior Dutch naval forces maintained the Dutch position. This was the…
…of the aristocratic opposition in the Netherlands. But if this should not be immediately possible, he remarked, the king should dissemble now and execute them at a more opportune moment. In 1565 Philip sent him, together with his queen, Elizabeth of Valois, to meet Elizabeth’s mother, Catherine de Médicis, regent…
…the Spanish armies in the Netherlands. But she was very reluctant to become involved, in part because she detested rebellion, even rebellion undertaken in the name of Protestantism, and in part because she detested expenditures. Eventually, after vacillations that drove her councillors to despair, she agreed first to provide some…
…in exchange for the Austrian Netherlands.
…was, above all, impressed by Holland’s imposing maritime and commercial power, as well as by its pioneering achievements in military technology and organization. He retained a marked preference for Dutch architecture and agriculture and a strong desire to open Brandenburg to international commerce and maritime trade.
…invade the United Provinces of the Netherlands (1672). He was wounded in the famous crossing of the Rhine near Arnhem (June 12, 1672) but, nevertheless, went on to defend Alsace from invasion. Having completed the evacuation of the United Provinces, he halted the prince of Orange’s army at Seneffe in…
…led to sharp quarrels with the Netherlands and Scotland. The economic importance of England for the Netherlands enabled Henry to induce Maximilian and the Netherlands to abandon the pretender in 1496 and to conclude a treaty of peace and freer trade (the Intercursus Magnus).
…stadholders who were prominent in the Netherlands in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. When William’s direct male line became extinct upon the death of King William III of England in 1702, the Ottonians’ possessions in both the Netherlands and Nassau passed to Count John William Friso of the Ottonian…
…was appointed governor-general of the Netherlands, then in open revolt against Spanish authority. Don Juan was at first reluctant to accept this difficult post and took it only on condition that he would be allowed to invade England and wed Mary Stuart, the Scottish queen then in captivity in England.…
…1667 he invaded the Spanish Netherlands, which he regarded as his wife’s inheritance, thus beginning a series of wars that lasted for a good part of his reign. Louis himself on his deathbed said, “I have loved war too much,” but his subjects, who often complained of his prudence and…
Louis’s attitude toward the Dutch was less moderate and more bullying. His invasion of the Spanish Netherlands in 1667 and the ensuing War of Devolution frightened the Dutch into the Triple Alliance with England and Sweden, which led to the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1668). Then, in the
…and was appointed governor of the Netherlands in 1559 by her half-brother, Philip II of Spain. Opposition to Spanish rule was already strong because of the presence of Spanish troops and especially because of the creation of new bishoprics in 1559 by a papal bull challenging local religious privileges.
…States General (representative assembly) of the Netherlands to act as regent for his infant son Philip (later Philip I [the Handsome] of Castile), but, having defeated the States General in war, he reacquired control of the regency in 1485. Meanwhile, by the Treaty of Arras (1482), Maximilian was also forced…
…of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, who had signed a separate peace in January 1648, refused to agree to the peace. In order to force Spain to make a settlement, Mazarin continued the war and formed an alliance with England (March 23, 1657), surrendering to the English the fort…
…persuaded to seek asylum in the Netherlands. He avoided captivity and perhaps death, but asylum also made it impossible for William to retain his position of emperor of Germany. Subsequently he lived quietly as a country gentleman in the Netherlands until his death in 1941.
World War II
Within days the Dutch surrendered. Göring’s Luftwaffe did not get the message and proceeded to devastate the central city of Rotterdam, killing numerous civilians and sending a signal to the city of London. Meanwhile, General Gerd von Rundstedt’s panzer army picked its way through the Ardennes and emerged…
…airborne support, to attack the Netherlands, and Reichenau’s 6th, with two armoured divisions, to advance over the Belgian plain. These two armies would have to deal not only with the Dutch and Belgian armies but also with the forces that the Allies, according to their plan, would send into the…
Belgium and the Netherlands, drove the British Expeditionary Force from the Continent, captured Paris, and forced the surrender of the French government.
When the Germans struck the Netherlands on May 10, the ground attacks proceeded from several points, all converging toward The Hague, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam. The most powerful of these drove across Dutch Limburg toward Maastricht, and its prompt success isolated a…
…German blitzkrieg attack on the Netherlands began with the capture by parachutists of key bridges deep within the country, with the aim of opening the way for mobile ground forces. The Dutch defenders fell back westward, and by noon on May 12 German tanks were on the outskirts of Rotterdam.…
Hague Convention Text
Convinced of the necessity to take measures to ensure that intercountry adoptions are made in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights, and to prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children,
Desiring to establish common provisions to this effect, taking into account the principles set forth in international instruments, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, of 20 November 1989, and the United Nations Declaration on Social and Legal Principles relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children, with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption Nationally and Internationally (General Assembly Resolution 41/85, of 3 December 1986),
Have agreed upon the following provisions –
CHAPTER I – SCOPE OF THE CONVENTION
The objects of the present Convention are –
a) to establish safeguards to ensure that intercountry adoptions take place in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights as recognized in international law
b) to establish a system of co-operation amongst Contracting States to ensure that those safeguards are respected and thereby prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children
c) to secure the recognition in Contracting States of adoptions made in accordance with the Convention.
(1) The Convention shall apply where a child habitually resident in one Contracting State ("the State of origin") has been, is being, or is to be moved to another Contracting State ("the receiving State") either after his or her adoption in the State of origin by spouses or a person habitually resident in the receiving State, or for the purposes of such an adoption in the receiving State or in the State of origin.
(2) The Convention covers only adoptions which create a permanent parent-child relationship.
The Convention ceases to apply if the agreements mentioned in Article 17, sub-paragraph c, have not been given before the child attains the age of eighteen years.
CHAPTER II – REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS
An adoption within the scope of the Convention shall take place only if the competent authorities of the State of origin –
a) have established that the child is adoptable
b) have determined, after possibilities for placement of the child within the State of origin have been given due consideration, that an intercountry adoption is in the child's best interests
(1) the persons, institutions and authorities whose consent is necessary for adoption, have been counselled as may be necessary and duly informed of the effects of their consent, in particular whether or not an adoption will result in the termination of the legal relationship between the child and his or her family of origin,
(2) such persons, institutions and authorities have given their consent freely, in the required legal form, and expressed or evidenced in writing,
(3) the consents have not been induced by payment or compensation of any kind and have not been withdrawn, and
(4) the consent of the mother, where required, has been given only after the birth of the child and
d) have ensured, having regard to the age and degree of maturity of the child, that
(1) he or she has been counselled and duly informed of the effects of the adoption and of his or her consent to the adoption, where such consent is required,
(2) consideration has been given to the child's wishes and opinions,
(3) the child's consent to the adoption, where such consent is required, has been given freely, in the required legal form, and expressed or evidenced in writing, and
(4) such consent has not been induced by payment or compensation of any kind.
An adoption within the scope of the Convention shall take place only if the competent authorities of the receiving State –
a) have determined that the prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suited to adopt
b) have ensured that the prospective adoptive parents have been counselled as may be necessary and
c) have determined that the child is or will be authorized to enter and reside permanently in that State.
CHAPTER III – CENTRAL AUTHORITIES AND ACCREDITED BODIES
(1) A Contracting State shall designate a Central Authority to discharge the duties which are imposed by the Convention upon such authorities.
(2) Federal States, States with more than one system of law or States having autonomous territorial units shall be free to appoint more than one Central Authority and to specify the territorial or personal extent of their functions. Where a State has appointed more than one Central Authority, it shall designate the Central Authority to which any communication may be addressed for transmission to the appropriate Central Authority within that State.
(1) Central Authorities shall co-operate with each other and promote co-operation amongst the competent authorities in their States to protect children and to achieve the other objects of the Convention.
(2) They shall take directly all appropriate measures to –
a) provide information as to the laws of their States concerning adoption and other general information, such as statistics and standard forms
b) keep one another informed about the operation of the Convention and, as far as possible, eliminate any obstacles to its application.
Central Authorities shall take, directly or through public authorities, all appropriate measures to prevent improper financial or other gain in connection with an adoption and to deter all practices contrary to the objects of the Convention.
Central Authorities shall take, directly or through public authorities or other bodies duly accredited in their State, all appropriate measures, in particular to –
a) collect, preserve and exchange information about the situation of the child and the prospective adoptive parents, so far as is necessary to complete the adoption
b) facilitate, follow and expedite proceedings with a view to obtaining the adoption
c) promote the development of adoption counselling and post-adoption services in their States
d) provide each other with general evaluation reports about experience with intercountry adoption
e) reply, in so far as is permitted by the law of their State, to justified requests from other Central Authorities or public authorities for information about a particular adoption situation.
Accreditation shall only be granted to and maintained by bodies demonstrating their competence to carry out properly the tasks with which they may be entrusted.
a) pursue only non-profit objectives according to such conditions and within such limits as may be established by the competent authorities of the State of accreditation
b) be directed and staffed by persons qualified by their ethical standards and by training or experience to work in the field of intercountry adoption and
c) be subject to supervision by competent authorities of that State as to its composition, operation and financial situation.
A body accredited in one Contracting State may act in another Contracting State only if the competent authorities of both States have authorized it to do so.
The designation of the Central Authorities and, where appropriate, the extent of their functions, as well as the names and addresses of the accredited bodies shall be communicated by each Contracting State to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.
CHAPTER IV – PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS IN INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION
Persons habitually resident in a Contracting State, who wish to adopt a child habitually resident in another Contracting State, shall apply to the Central Authority in the State of their habitual residence.
(1) If the Central Authority of the receiving State is satisfied that the applicants are eligible and suited to adopt, it shall prepare a report including information about their identity, eligibility and suitability to adopt, background, family and medical history, social environment, reasons for adoption, ability to undertake an intercountry adoption, as well as the characteristics of the children for whom they would be qualified to care.
(2) It shall transmit the report to the Central Authority of the State of origin.
(1) If the Central Authority of the State of origin is satisfied that the child is adoptable, it shall –
a) prepare a report including information about his or her identity, adoptability, background, social environment, family history, medical history including that of the child's family, and any special needs of the child
b) give due consideration to the child's upbringing and to his or her ethnic, religious and cultural background
c) ensure that consents have been obtained in accordance with Article 4 and
d) determine, on the basis in particular of the reports relating to the child and the prospective adoptive parents, whether the envisaged placement is in the best interests of the child.
(2) It shall transmit to the Central Authority of the receiving State its report on the child, proof that the necessary consents have been obtained and the reasons for its determination on the placement, taking care not to reveal the identity of the mother and the father if, in the State of origin, these identities may not be disclosed.
Any decision in the State of origin that a child should be entrusted to prospective adoptive parents may only be made if –
a) the Central Authority of that State has ensured that the prospective adoptive parents agree
b) the Central Authority of the receiving State has approved such decision, where such approval is required by the law of that State or by the Central Authority of the State of origin
c) the Central Authorities of both States have agreed that the adoption may proceed and
d) it has been determined, in accordance with Article 5, that the prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suited to adopt and that the child is or will be authorized to enter and reside permanently in the receiving State.
The Central Authorities of both States shall take all necessary steps to obtain permission for the child to leave the State of origin and to enter and reside permanently in the receiving State.
(1) The transfer of the child to the receiving State may only be carried out if the requirements of Article 17 have been satisfied.
(2) The Central Authorities of both States shall ensure that this transfer takes place in secure and appropriate circumstances and, if possible, in the company of the adoptive or prospective adoptive parents.
(3) If the transfer of the child does not take place, the reports referred to in Articles 15 and 16 are to be sent back to the authorities who forwarded them.
The Central Authorities shall keep each other informed about the adoption process and the measures taken to complete it, as well as about the progress of the placement if a probationary period is required.
(1) Where the adoption is to take place after the transfer of the child to the receiving State and it appears to the Central Authority of that State that the continued placement of the child with the prospective adoptive parents is not in the child's best interests, such Central Authority shall take the measures necessary to protect the child, in particular –
a) to cause the child to be withdrawn from the prospective adoptive parents and to arrange temporary care
b) in consultation with the Central Authority of the State of origin, to arrange without delay a new placement of the child with a view to adoption or, if this is not appropriate, to arrange alternative long-term care an adoption shall not take place until the Central Authority of the State of origin has been duly informed concerning the new prospective adoptive parents
c) as a last resort, to arrange the return of the child, if his or her interests so require.
(2) Having regard in particular to the age and degree of maturity of the child, he or she shall be consulted and, where appropriate, his or her consent obtained in relation to measures to be taken under this Article.
(1) The functions of a Central Authority under this Chapter may be performed by public authorities or by bodies accredited under Chapter III, to the extent permitted by the law of its State.
(2) Any Contracting State may declare to the depositary of the Convention that the functions of the Central Authority under Articles 15 to 21 may be performed in that State, to the extent permitted by the law and subject to the supervision of the competent authorities of that State, also by bodies or persons who –
a) meet the requirements of integrity, professional competence, experience and accountability of that State and
b) are qualified by their ethical standards and by training or experience to work in the field of intercountry adoption.
(3) A Contracting State which makes the declaration provided for in paragraph 2 shall keep the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law informed of the names and addresses of these bodies and persons.
(4) Any Contracting State may declare to the depositary of the Convention that adoptions of children habitually resident in its territory may only take place if the functions of the Central Authorities are performed in accordance with paragraph 1.
(5) Notwithstanding any declaration made under paragraph 2, the reports provided for in Articles 15 and 16 shall, in every case, be prepared under the responsibility of the Central Authority or other authorities or bodies in accordance with paragraph 1.
CHAPTER V – RECOGNITION AND EFFECTS OF THE ADOPTION
(1) An adoption certified by the competent authority of the State of the adoption as having been made in accordance with the Convention shall be recognized by operation of law in the other Contracting States. The certificate shall specify when and by whom the agreements under Article 17, sub-paragraph c), were given.
(2) Each Contracting State shall, at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, notify the depositary of the Convention of the identity and the functions of the authority or the authorities which, in that State, are competent to make the certification. It shall also notify the depositary of any modification in the designation of these authorities.
The recognition of an adoption may be refused in a Contracting State only if the adoption is manifestly contrary to its public policy, taking into account the best interests of the child..
Any Contracting State may declare to the depositary of the Convention that it will not be bound under this Convention to recognize adoptions made in accordance with an agreement concluded by application of Article 39, paragraph 2.
(1) The recognition of an adoption includes recognition of
a) the legal parent-child relationship between the child and his or her adoptive parents
b) parental responsibility of the adoptive parents for the child
c) the termination of a pre-existing legal relationship between the child and his or her mother and father, if the adoption has this effect in the Contracting State where it was made.
(2) In the case of an adoption having the effect of terminating a pre-existing legal parent-child relationship, the child shall enjoy in the receiving State, and in any other Contracting State where the adoption is recognized, rights equivalent to those resulting from adoptions having this effect in each such State.
(3) The preceding paragraphs shall not prejudice the application of any provision more favourable for the child, in force in the Contracting State which recognizes the adoption.
(1) Where an adoption granted in the State of origin does not have the effect of terminating a pre-existing legal parent-child relationship, it may, in the receiving State which recognizes the adoption under the Convention, be converted into an adoption having such an effect –
a) if the law of the receiving State so permits and
b) if the consents referred to in Article 4, sub-paragraphs c and d, have been or are given for the purpose of such an adoption.
(2) Article 23 applies to the decision converting the adoption.
CHAPTER VI – GENERAL PROVISIONS
The Convention does not affect any law of a State of origin which requires that the adoption of a child habitually resident within that State take place in that State or which prohibits the child's placement in, or transfer to, the receiving State prior to adoption.
There shall be no contact between the prospective adoptive parents and the child's parents or any other person who has care of the child until the requirements of Article 4, sub-paragraphs a) to c), and Article 5, sub-paragraph a), have been met, unless the adoption takes place within a family or unless the contact is in compliance with the conditions established by the competent authority of the State of origin.
(1) The competent authorities of a Contracting State shall ensure that information held by them concerning the child's origin, in particular information concerning the identity of his or her parents, as well as the medical history, is preserved.
(2) They shall ensure that the child or his or her representative has access to such information, under appropriate guidance, in so far as is permitted by the law of that State.
Without prejudice to Article 30, personal data gathered or transmitted under the Convention, especially data referred to in Articles 15 and 16, shall be used only for the purposes for which they were gathered or transmitted.
(1) No one shall derive improper financial or other gain from an activity related to an intercountry adoption.
(2) Only costs and expenses, including reasonable professional fees of persons involved in the adoption, may be charged or paid.
(3) The directors, administrators and employees of bodies involved in an adoption shall not receive remuneration which is unreasonably high in relation to services rendered.
A competent authority which finds that any provision of the Convention has not been respected or that there is a serious risk that it may not be respected, shall immediately inform the Central Authority of its State. This Central Authority shall be responsible for ensuring that appropriate measures are taken.
If the competent authority of the State of destination of a document so requests, a translation certified as being in conformity with the original must be furnished. Unless otherwise provided, the costs of such translation are to be borne by the prospective adoptive parents.
The competent authorities of the Contracting States shall act expeditiously in the process of adoption.
In relation to a State which has two or more systems of law with regard to adoption applicable in different territorial units –
a) any reference to habitual residence in that State shall be construed as referring to habitual residence in a territorial unit of that State
b) any reference to the law of that State shall be construed as referring to the law in force in the relevant territorial unit
c) any reference to the competent authorities or to the public authorities of that State shall be construed as referring to those authorized to act in the relevant territorial unit
d) any reference to the accredited bodies of that State shall be construed as referring to bodies accredited in the relevant territorial unit.
In relation to a State which with regard to adoption has two or more systems of law applicable to different categories of persons, any reference to the law of that State shall be construed as referring to the legal system specified by the law of that State.
A State within which different territorial units have their own rules of law in respect of adoption shall not be bound to apply the Convention where a State with a unified system of law would not be bound to do so.
(1) The Convention does not affect any international instrument to which Contracting States are Parties and which contains provisions on matters governed by the Convention, unless a contrary declaration is made by the States Parties to such instrument.
(2) Any Contracting State may enter into agreements with one or more other Contracting States, with a view to improving the application of the Convention in their mutual relations. These agreements may derogate only from the provisions of Articles 14 to 16 and 18 to 21. The States which have concluded such an agreement shall transmit a copy to the depositary of the Convention.
No reservation to the Convention shall be permitted.
The Convention shall apply in every case where an application pursuant to Article 14 has been received after the Convention has entered into force in the receiving State and the State of origin.
The Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law shall at regular intervals convene a Special Commission in order to review the practical operation of the Convention.
CHAPTER VII – FINAL CLAUSES
(1) The Convention shall be open for signature by the States which were Members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law at the time of its Seventeenth Session and by the other States which participated in that Session.
(2) It shall be ratified, accepted or approved and the instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, depositary of the Convention.
(1) Any other State may accede to the Convention after it has entered into force in accordance with Article 46, paragraph 1.
(2) The instrument of accession shall be deposited with the depositary.
(3) Such accession shall have effect only as regards the relations between the acceding State and those Contracting States which have not raised an objection to its accession in the six months after the receipt of the notification referred to in sub-paragraph b) of Article 48. Such an objection may also be raised by States at the time when they ratify, accept or approve the Convention after an accession. Any such objection shall be notified to the depositary.
(1) If a State has two or more territorial units in which different systems of law are applicable in relation to matters dealt with in the Convention, it may at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession declare that this Convention shall extend to all its territorial units or only to one or more of them and may modify this declaration by submitting another declaration at any time.
(2) Any such declaration shall be notified to the depositary and shall state expressly the territorial units to which the Convention applies.
(3) If a State makes no declaration under this Article, the Convention is to extend to all territorial units of that State.
(1) The Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of three months after the deposit of the third instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval referred to in Article 43.
(2) Thereafter the Convention shall enter into force –
a) for each State ratifying, accepting or approving it subsequently, or acceding to it, on the first day of the month following the expiration of three months after the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession
b) for a territorial unit to which the Convention has been extended in conformity with Article 45, on the first day of the month following the expiration of three months after the notification referred to in that Article.
(1) A State Party to the Convention may denounce it by a notification in writing addressed to the depositary.
(2) The denunciation takes effect on the first day of the month following the expiration of twelve months after the notification is received by the depositary. Where a longer period for the denunciation to take effect is specified in the notification, the denunciation takes effect upon the expiration of such longer period after the notification is received by the depositary.
The depositary shall notify the States Members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the other States which participated in the Seventeenth Session and the States which have acceded in accordance with Article 44, of the following –
a) the signatures, ratifications, acceptances and approvals referred to in Article 43
b) the accessions and objections raised to accessions referred to in Article 44
c) the date on which the Convention enters into force in accordance with Article 46
d) the declarations and designations referred to in Articles 22, 23, 25 and 45
e) the agreements referred to in Article 39
f) the denunciations referred to in Article 47.
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto, have signed this Convention.
The 1912 Hague International Opium Convention
23 January 2009 - On 23 January 1912, the International Opium Convention was signed in the Hague by representatives from China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Persia (Iran), Portugal, Russia, Siam (Thailand), the UK and the British oversees territories (including British India). Three years later, it entered into force in five countries. The Convention gained, however, near-universal adherence after 1919 when all the countries signing the Peace Treaties of Versailles, St. Germain-en-Laye etc. also became party to the International Opium Convention. Thus by the mid 1920s close to 60 countries had - de jure - signed and ratified the Hague treaty and this number increased to 67 by 1949.
The International Opium convention consisted of six chapters and 25 articles. In addition to opium and morphine, which were already under extensive international discussion, the Hague Convention also included two new substances that had become problematic: cocaine and heroin.
Cocaine was first isolated by the German chemist Albert Niemann in 1860, and rapidly gained popularity for both medical and recreational use. Heroin was a relatively new drug at the time of the Hague Convention, as it had only become available as a pharmaceutical product in 1898. Ironically, it was originally marketed as a non-addictive alternative to morphine, which was proving problematic in many areas.
The Geography of European Union
Total Size: 3,976,372 square km
Size Comparison: less than one-half the size of the US
World Region or Continent: Europe
General Terrain: fairly flat along the Baltic and Atlantic coast mountainous in the central and southern areas
Geographical Low Point: Lammefjord, Denmark -7 m Zuidplaspolder, Netherlands -7 m
Geographical High Point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m note - situated on the border between France and Italy
Climate: cold temperate potentially subarctic in the north to temperate mild wet winters hot dry summers in the south
Understanding the Hague Convention
The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) is an international agreement to safeguard intercountry adoptions. Concluded on May 29, 1993 in The Hague, the Netherlands, the Convention establishes international standards of practices for intercountry adoptions. The United States signed the Convention in 1994, and the Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008. Read the full text of the Convention.
The Convention applies to all adoptions by U.S. citizens habitually resident in the United States of children habitually resident in any country outside of the United States that is a party to the Convention (Convention countries). Adopting a child from a Convention country is similar in many ways to adopting a child from a country not party to the Convention. However, there are some key differences. In particular, those seeking to adopt may receive greater protections if they adopt from a Convention country.
View forging effective Convention partnerships for more information on how the United States evaluates a Convention country’s adoption system.
The Convention requires that countries who are party to it establish a Central Authority to be the authoritative source of information and point of contact in that country. The Department of State is the U.S. Central Authorityfor the Convention.
The Convention aims to prevent the abduction, sale of, or trafficking in children, and it works to ensure that intercountry adoptions are in the best interests of children.
The Convention recognizes intercountry adoption as a means of offering the advantage of a permanent home to a child when a suitable family has not been found in the child's country of origin. It enables intercountry adoption to take place when, among other steps:
- The child has been deemed eligible for adoption by the child's country of origin and
- Due consideration has been given to finding an adoption placement for the child in its country of origin.
The Convention provides for recognition by other party countries of adoptions made in accordance with the Convention.
Keys to the U.S. Convention Process
Accredited or Approved Adoption Agencies: Only adoption service providers that have been accredited or approved on a Federal level may offer certain key adoption services for Convention adoptions. When adopting a child from a Convention country, prospective adoptive parents know that their adoption service provider has been evaluated by the Department of State's designated Accrediting Entity. This Accrediting Entity, the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity, Inc. (IAAME), evaluates agencies and individuals using uniform standards that work to ensure professional and ethical practices.
Note: Starting in July 2014, all agencies providing services in intercountry adoptions will need to be accredited or approved, supervised by an accredited or approved agency, or exempted. Please see our FAQs on the Universal Accreditation Act for further information on the new requirements.
Transparency: When adopting from a Convention country, accredited and approved adoption service providers must itemize and disclose in writing the fees and estimated expenses associated with the adoption ahead of time. Outside of that fee schedule, the adoption service provider is only permitted to charge for unforeseen expenses under very specific circumstances. There is also an official mechanism for lodging a complaint against an accredited or approved adoption service provider with the Department of State.
Adoption and Custody Certificates: Every child adopted from a Convention country receives a Hague Adoption Certificate or a Hague Custody Certificate from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that issues the child’s immigrant visa. The certificate is issued by a U.S. consular officer after determining that the adoption (or grant of custody) has met the requirements of the Convention and the U.S. Intercountry Adoption Act. In Convention adoptions, prior to the final adoption or grant of custody in the child’s country, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines whether a child appears eligible to immigrate to the U.S. as a “Convention adoptee.” A U.S. consular officer also determines whether the child appears to meet the criteria for visa eligibility before the adoption is finalized (or custody is granted) in the country of origin. This will allow the prospective adoptive parents to know ahead of time whether the child appears to be eligible to enter the United States. Review our Country Information pages for specific information about adoption procedures in individual Convention countries.
Convention Forms & Visa Categories: Prospective adoptive parents must file Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, and Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, for Convention adoption cases. Both forms must be filed with U.S. Citizenship & Immigrations Services (USCIS). Form I-800A must be filed and approved prior to Form I-800 to allow USCIS to determine whether prospective adoptive parent(s) are suitable and eligible to adopt a child from a Convention country. Prospective adoptive parent(s) must identify the country from which they will adopt on the Form I-800A. After receiving Form I-800A approval from USCIS and being matched with a specific child, but prior to adoption or grant of custody, prospective adoptive parent(s) must file Form I-800 to determine the particular child’s eligibility to immigrate to the United States through the Convention adoption process. Children adopted from a Convention country must meet the definition of a "Convention adoptee” in order to immigrate to the United States through the Convention adoption process. Two visa categories, IH-3 and IH-4, are used in Convention adoption cases.
Forging Effective Convention Partnerships
The U.S. Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA) provides in Section 301(a)(1) that “The Secretary of State shall, with respect to each Convention adoption, issue a certificate if the Secretary of State (A) receives appropriate notification from the central authority of such child’s country of origin and (B) has verified that the requirements of the Convention and this Act have been met with respect to the adoption.” This requires the Department of State to verify that every adoption to the United States completed under the Convention complies with the Convention, the IAA, and the U.S. implementing regulations. Accordingly, we must have confidence in the country’s Convention system and corresponding Central Authority’s certification that adoptions comply with the Convention. With that confidence, conducting investigations like those required in the “orphan” process is generally not necessary absent indications of fraud or other significant concerns.
Evaluating a Convention Country’s System
When a country announces its intention to ratify the Convention, the Department of State reviews laws, procedures, practices, and infrastructure to assess the country’s ability to implement procedural safeguards and governing structures consistent with Convention standards. The assessment seeks to confirm that each country:
- Has implementing laws or regulations that identify and authorize a Central Authority, other competent authorities, and accredited bodies to undertake Convention functions. The Convention requires parties to designate a Central Authority that is empowered to communicate with other central authorities, exercise oversight of the intercountry adoption process, and oversee or conduct the accreditation of agencies and authorization of competent bodies (such as foreign adoption service providers). Additionally, other competent authorities and accredited bodies may perform other Convention functions.
- Enforces the Convention principles. The Convention establishes a framework for co-operation between authorities of different countries and sets minimum safeguards to ensure that adoptions take place in the best interests of the child. These safeguards include:
- Competent authorities determining that intercountry adoption is in the best interest of a child after placement options in his or her country of origin have been duly considered (subsidiarity)
- The Central Authority or other authority determining that a child is eligible for adoption, and including this determination in the Article 16 report on the child when proposing a match with prospective adoptive parents (adoptability)
- Ensuring that the child’s parent(s), or legal guardian(s), provided informed, freely given, and irrevocable consent to adoption, in writing, after the child is born, and without receiving payment or compensation of any kind to induce the consent. Additionally, the child must receive counseling and consent to a proposed adoption, if the country of origin’s laws so allow, and the Central Authority or other authority shall include a determination that all necessary consents have been obtained in a manner consistent with the Convention in the Article 16 report on the child (consents)
- Ensuring that no person or entity involved in an intercountry adoption derives any improper financial or other gain, or unreasonably high remuneration for services rendered, in relation to an intercountry adoption (prohibition on improper financial or other gain) and
- Precluding contact between the prospective adoptive parents and the child’s parents or any other person who has care of the child until a child has been matched with prospective adoptive parents who were already found suitable and eligible to adopt from a Convention country (prohibition on prior contact). Relative adoptions and cases that meet conditions established by the competent authority of the country of origin are exempted.
If the Department of State determines that a country does not meet the required standards, it will strongly encourage the country to first implement the necessary legal framework and procedures to uphold the Convention’s standards and principles before becoming a party to the Convention. The Department of State will also encourage the country’s officials to consider establishing procedures to allow adoptions initiated prior to the Convention’s entry into force to be completed through the pre-Convention procedures. The Department of State’s goal is to prevent a disruption in adoptions and ensure that there is no unnecessary delay in processes pending adoptions due to the Convention entering into force.
Abusers Benefitting from International Anti-Abduction Treaty
The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction was created to protect children from being abducted and taken away from their home country. Abusers are now using this treaty as a way to manipulate the courts to regain custody of their children. As Misha Valencia writes for WhoWhatWhy, an analysis of Hague cases and court decisions found that “an overwhelming number of ‘abductors’ were really mothers escaping abuse—and that the majority of them were forced to return their children” to abusive partners. Children’s fear of abusive fathers and mothers’ claims of abuse are often dismissed or not believed. According to psychotherapist Sarah Gundle, “the intention of this treaty was to protect children, but, in reality, the legal system and the Hague Convention often fail to understand the principles of trauma and how they play out for abuse survivors and vulnerable children.”
With 101 countries participating in this treaty, the repercussions of these cases is truly global. Article 13(b) of the Hague Convention allows for exceptions to be made, if a child’s return home might expose them to physical or mental trauma. In domestic violence situations, Gundle explains, “batterers frequently take their anger out on their children” when their spouse is no longer present. In 2020, Hague Commission issued a “Guide to Good Practice” which emphasized the importance of Article 13(b) but failed to acknowledge that many survivors of abuse are too afraid to report abuse for fear of disbelief, embarrassment, or shame. Without a history of filing claims, mothers and children fleeing from abusive environments cannot meet a strict standard of proof for court cases. The American Judges Association reports that abusers get shared custody approximately seventy percent of the time.
Corporate news media coverage on international abductions only focuses on countries joining the treaty, or on specific abduction cases as they relate to the publication’s country or locale.
Source: Misha Valencia, “Treaty Created to Stop Child Abductors Could Now be Protecting Abusers,” WhoWhatWhy, July 20, 2020, https://whowhatwhy.org/2020/07/20/treaty-once-created-to-stop-child-abductions-could-now-be-protecting-abusers/.
Student Researchers: Meredith Chapple and Maricella Chavez (Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame)
Faculty Evaluator: Helen K. Ho (Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame)
The Origins of the Geneva Conventions
The Origins of the Geneva Conventions
The rules of war are part of the Geneva Convention and they first were established in the 19th century.
They dictate what can and cannot be done during armed conflict. They aim to protect people who are not fighting in the conflict and curb the brutality of war by setting limits on the weapons and tactics that can be employed.
Representatives of aid groups say there is a growing disregard for these rules in conflict zones around the world. "It has become glaringly obvious that respect for international humanitarian law is in decline," says Scott Paul, the humanitarian policy lead of Oxfam America, a global aid agency.
History of the rules of war
Although our modern rules of war can be traced back to ancient civilizations and religions, it was Henri Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross, who began the process of codifying these customs into international humanitarian law. In 1864, he helped establish the first Geneva Convention, an international treaty that required armies to care for the sick and wounded on the battlefield. It was adopted by 12 European countries.
Over the next 85 years, diplomats debated and adopted additional amendments and treaties to address the treatment of combatants at sea and prisoners of war — not just combatants on battlefields. In 1949, after the horrors of World War II, diplomats gathered again in Geneva to adopt four treaties that reaffirmed and updated the previous treaties and expanded the rules to protect civilians. They're now collectively known as the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and contain the most important rules of war.
Upholding the rules
Since then, the rules of war have been ratified by 196 states. They protect people who are not fighting in the conflict and curb the brutality of war by setting limits on the weapons and tactics that can be employed. In 2014, for example, the rules helped guarantee safe passage for civilians in South Sudan to flee violence.
They're also used in domestic and international courts to determine if a government or non-governmental militant group is guilty of a war crime. If a warring party is accused of violating international humanitarian law — whether by an individual, group, country or observer — countries are obligated to investigate. The U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, for example, helped punish war criminals who committed mass atrocities during the Bosnian war in the 1990s.
The U.N. Security Council, a group of 15 countries at the U.N. charged to maintain international peace and security, may also impose sanctions — like a travel ban or an arms embargo — as an incentive for warring parties to comply with the rules of war.
Enforcing the rules can be difficult. For example, the five veto-holding permanent members of the Security Council — the U.S., China, Russia, the U.K. and France — must vote unanimously to pursue a resolution that might call for an investigation, refer a case to a court for trial, threaten sanctions or propose another motion. But often one or several of these countries has a vested interest in the conflict in question.
As mandated by the Conventions, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has a special role to play as a guardian of these laws. The ICRC tracks the evolution of warfare and makes recommendations for updates to the rules accordingly. It also participates in U.N. discussions on crises and potential violations to ensure the rules are being upheld.
In addition, the ICRC helps inform the public of the rules of war through videos and social media messaging. This 2-minute film, titled "Why we can't save her life," won a Grand Prix award at the Cannes Lions festival in France this month. The film reminds people that hospitals are not a target.
The rules of war
Although there are many rules contained in the Conventions, here are six crucial principles that are relevant to ongoing conflicts. Because the rules themselves often use legal terms, we have paraphrased the language. To read the original language, click here:
1. No targeting civilians
Airstrike Reportedly Hits Doctors Without Borders Facility In Yemen
Intentionally targeting civilians, buildings such as schools or houses and infrastructure like water sources or sanitation facilities is a war crime. Killing or injuring a person who has surrendered or is no longer able to fight is also prohibited, as is punishing someone for an act that another person, even a family member, has committed.
Attacks should only be directed at military objectives, and military targets such as bases and stockpiles should not be placed in or near populated areas.
If the expected "incidental civilian damage" of an attack is "excessive and disproportionate" to the anticipated military gain, then the attack legally cannot be carried out.
There is one caveat: a civilian structures, for example a school, may become a legitimate target if it is being used for specific military operations — as a base to launch attacks, for example, or a weapons storehouse.
2. No torture or inhumane treatment of detainees
Torture and other forms of cruel, degrading or ill treatment are expressly prohibited. The lives, rights and dignity of detainees should be preserved. They must be given food and water, protected from violence and allowed to communicate with their families.
There are no exceptions to this rule, even when torture might elicit lifesaving information.
3. No attacking hospitals and aid workers
Goats and Soda
Can Attacks On Aid Workers Be Stopped?
The wounded and sick always have a right to be cared for, regardless of which side of the conflict they're on. Medical and aid workers who are on duty in these areas make an effort to be neutral and serve both sides of the conflict. They must, therefore, be protected by all warring parties and allowed access to collect and care for the wounded and sick.
If combatants see a red cross or red crescent, symbols of the national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, they should know that person or place should not be attacked
But the rules of law do grant an exception for hospitals as well as other civilian structures. If a hospital is being used for specific military operations, it may become a legitimate target.
4. Provide safe passage for civilians to flee
Parties to a conflict must take all reasonable steps to evacuate civilians from areas where there is fighting. In the heat of conflict, such steps can take the form of advanced warnings or the creation of "safe corridors" for civilians to leave a besieged city and for humanitarian workers to deliver aid and services. Civilians must never be blocked from fleeing.
5. Provide access to humanitarian organizations
Civilians and militants who are no longer fighting in the conflict have a right to receive the help they need, whether it's medical care, food, water or shelter. This means that restricting the delivery of humanitarian aid — through naval and air blockades, closing ports or confiscating supplies — is prohibited. In fact, deliberately causing starvation and hunger is a war crime.
6. No unnecessary or excessive loss and suffering
The tactics and weapons used in war must be proportionate and necessary to achieve a definitive military objective. The use of weapons that are "by nature indiscriminate," according to the Geneva Conventions, is prohibited.
For example, the use of land mines, while not banned, is limited because they can indiscriminately kill and maim both combatants and civilians.
Joanne Lu is a freelance journalist who covers global poverty and inequity. Her work has appeared in Humanosphere, The Guardian, Global Washington and War is Boring. Follow her on Twitter @joannelu.
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