When countries fight wars, many times their people (like fighter pilots or soldiers) get captured on the other side. Can they come back?
So, the fact is that there were no rules about this till the World Wars were fought. After World War II, (that was in 1949) all countries agreed to sign a, …well, an agreement (they call it a convention, the word actually means – an agreement between states covering particular matters, especially one less formal than a treaty). This was called the Geneva convention because, ya you got it, it was signed in Geneva!
What is the Geneva Convention? They are basically a set of international rules which ensure that countries restrain themselves from certain things like war (until a point that is). As for the prisoners of war, the Geneva convention says that in war, peace time, or in fights that are not declared as war by 1 or more of the countries these rules apply. And what are the rules? That the prisoners cannot be ill-treated in any way. The convention says that prisoners cannot be killed, injured, and any kind of action cannot be taken against the prisoner affecting his health. An attack taken against the prisoner is also prohibited. The prisoner cannot be forced to answer any questions. The prisoner cannot be exposed to fighting. They cannot be treated as human shields and have to have the same access to evacuation and safety as the countries people. There are a lot of rules about POW (Prisoners of War), but the basic idea is that they cannot be harmed or ill-treated.
Written by a grade 5 student