A "Protecting Power" is a neutral State or other State not a Party to the conflict which has been designated by a Party to the conflict and accepted by the enemy Party and has agreed to carry out the functions assigned to a Protecting Power under international humanitarian law.
In the absence of an agreement on a Protecting Power, the International Committee of the Red Cross or any other impartial humanitarian organization should be designated as a substitute.
In practice, the Protecting Powers system has not been used in recent years. Instead, the International Committee of the Red Cross has come to be recognized as a substitute for the Protecting Power.
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JANNER Antonino, La Puissance protectrice en droit international, d’après les expériences faites par la Suisse pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, Basel, Helbing und Lichtenhahn, 1948, 2nd ed., 1972, 79 pp.
LEVIE Howard S., “Prisoners of War and the Protecting Power”, in AJIL, Vol. 55, 1961, pp. 374-397
WYLIE Neville, “Protecting Powers in a Changing World”, in Politorbis, revue de politique étrangère, No. 40, 2006, pp. 6-14
FRANKLIN William McHenry, Protection of Foreign Interests: A Study in Diplomatic and Consular Practice, Washington, United States Government Printing Office, Department of State Publication No. 2693, 1946, 328 pp.
KUSSBACH Erich, “Le Protocole Additionnel I et les États neutres”, in IRRC, No. 725, September 1980, pp. 82-95.
WYLIE Neville, “Protecting Powers in a Changing World”, in Politorbis, revue de politique étrangère, No. 40, 2006, pp. 6-14.