Medical objects are composed of :
All the equipment and supplies necessary for the functioning of medical units.
Medical ships and craft
Any medical transport by water
Medical transport and transportation
Any means of transportation, whether military or civilian, permanent or temporary, assigned exclusively to medical transportation and under the control of a competent authority. It may be a medical vehicle, a medical ship or craft, or a medical aircraft.
Medical transports are protected by international law and may bear the distinctive emblem prescribed for that purpose.
Medical transportation means the conveyance by land, water or air of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, medical and religious personnel and medical material.
A military or civilian establishment or other unit organized for medical purposes, namely the search for, collection, transportation, diagnosis or treatment – including first-aid treatment – of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, or for the prevention of disease. Medical units include hospitals and other similar units, blood transfusion centres, preventive medicine centres and institutes, and the medical and pharmaceutical stores of such units. Medical units may be fixed or mobile, permanent or temporary.
Any medical transport (i.e. means of medical transportation) by land.
GCI, 19 (see ICRC updated Commentary) and 35 (see ICRC updated Commentary)
protection of medical units
GCI, 19 (see ICRC updated Commentary) 23 (see ICRC updated Commentary)
loss of protection
GCI, 21 (see ICRC updated Commentary) 22 (see ICRC updated Commentary)
Cameroon, Law on the Protection of the Emblem and the Name Red Cross
Lebanon, Helicopter Attack on Ambulances
Iran/Iraq, UN Security Council Assessing Violations of IHL (A. Annex, Paras. 41 and 44)
Yemen, Obstructing Medical Care
South Sudan: Medical Care Under Fire
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health
UN, Report of the Secretary-General for the World Humanitarian Summit
Afghanistan, Attack on Kunduz Trauma Centre
ICRC, International Humanitarian Law and the challenges of contemporary armed conflicts in 2015 (Paras. 152, 157, 158, 163)
UN, Security Council Resolution 2286 on Attacks on Hospitals
Yemen, Potential Existence and Effects of Naval Blockade
Italy, Use of force against ambulances in Iraq
South Sudan, Attack in Malakal UN Protection Site
RUFIN Jean-Christophe, “The Paradoxes of Armed Protection”, in Médecins Sans Frontières (ed.), Life, Death and Aid, New York, Routledge, 1993, pp. 111-123
CASSESE Antonio, “Under What Conditions May Belligerents Be Acquitted of the Crime of Attacking an Ambulance?”, in Journal of International Criminal Justice, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2008, pp. 385-397
BOUVIER Antoine, “Humanitarian Protection and Armed Conflicts at Sea: Means and Methods of Identifying Protected Craft”, in SyracuseJournal of International Law and Commerce, Vol. 14, 1988, pp. 759-765.
CAUDERAY Gérald C, “Visibility of the Distinctive Emblem on Medical Establishments, Units, and Transports”, in IRRC, No. 277, July-August 1990, pp. 295-321.
CAUDERAY Gérald C., “Means of Identification for Protected Medical Transports”, in IRRC, No. 300, May-June 1994, pp. 266-278.
CAUDERAY Gerald C. & BOUVIER Antoine, Manual for the Use of Technical Means of Identifications by Hospital Ships, Coastal Rescue Craft, Other Protected Craft and Medical Aircraft, Geneva, ICRC, 1995, 196 pp.
EBERLIN Philippe, “La modernisation de la signalisation protectrice et les communications des unités et moyens de transport sanitaires”, in Studies and Essays on International Humanitarian Law and Red Cross Principles in Honour of Jean Pictet, Geneva/The Hague, ICRC/M. Nijhoff, 1984, pp. 47-75.
EBERLIN Philippe, “Underwater Acoustic Identification of Hospital Ships”, in IRRC, No. 267, November-December 1988, pp. 505-518