The origins of the law of armed conflict are perhaps not surprisingly found in the area of caring for the wounded and sick, as the most obvious persons who require protection from war. This chapter endeavours to describe the framework in this fundamental area, as well as to highlight contentious and emerging areas of thought. It analyses each of the various protected groups (that is, wounded and sick, medical and religious personnel, medical units and establishments, and medical transports) individually, providing the definition, legal status and the specific obligations to 'respect and protect' each group.
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