Children of State Police Offi cers and Soldiers of the Polish Army in NKVD Special Camps
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The article presents issues concerning juvenile prisoners of three special camps in Kozielsk, Starobielsk and Ostashkov. The author draws attention to the lack of definition of the legal status of minors after 1918, and thus — the lack of provisions on ensuring the safety of children in the international standards governing the treatment of prisoners of war in force during World War II and internal legal acts of the Soviet Union. The article emphasizes that the participation of children in armed conflicts was regulated as late as ten years after the outbreak of World War II in international humanitarian law, adopting on 12 August 1949 “The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War” (Fourth Geneva Convention), under which children are entitled to special treatment or protection measures. The provisions of conventions protecting children during the war included, among others, regulations concerning the creation of special zones and sanitary facilities, evacuation from the besieged zone, provision of necessary food and clothing, provision of medical and hospital care, education or transfer to a neutral country. The author notes that the Fourth Geneva Convention does not contain a provision on special protection and care for juveniles, and that children during warfare are classified exclusively as civilian population. The circumstances of the Soviet captivity of minors after September 17, 1939, their stay in and leaving the camps, the reasons for selection, after which they were left alive and not included in the “death transports”, described in the article, make it possible to determine the number of rescued and murdered.
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