Geneva (ICRC) – A team from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has registered hundreds of Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) this week from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol.

The ICRC started on Tuesday, 17 May to register combatants leaving the Azovstal plant, including the wounded, at the request of the parties. The operation continued Wednesday and was still ongoing Thursday. The ICRC is not transporting POWs to the places where they are held.

The registration process that the ICRC facilitated involves the individual filling out a form with personal details like name, date of birth and closest relative. This information allows the ICRC to track those who have been captured and help them keep in touch with their families.

In accordance with the mandate given to the ICRC by States under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the ICRC must have immediate access to all POWs in all places where they are held. The ICRC must be allowed to interview prisoners of war without witnesses, and the duration and frequency of these visits should not be unduly restricted. Whenever circumstances permit, each party to the conflict must take all possible measures to search for and collect the dead.

The ICRC maintains a confidential dialogue with the parties to the conflict on their obligations under international humanitarian law.