Concept

Protecting power

Summary
A protecting power is a country that represents another sovereign state in a country where it lacks its own diplomatic representation. It is common for protecting powers to be appointed when two countries break off diplomatic relations with each other. The protecting power is responsible for looking after the protected power's diplomatic property and citizens in the hosting state. If diplomatic relations were broken by the outbreak of war, the protecting power will also inquire into the welfare of prisoners of war and look after the interests of civilians in enemy-occupied territory. The institution of protecting power dates back to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and was formalized in the Geneva Convention of 1929. Protecting powers are authorized in all four of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. In addition, the International Red Cross may itself be appointed a protecting power under Protocol I (1977). The practice of selecting a protecting power in time of pea
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