The Convention for the Unification of Certain rules related to international air transport, also known as the Warsaw Convention or the Chicago Convention, is an intergovernmental convention that governs liability for personal acts, baggage, or property carried on an aircraft for compensation. It was created in response to a rise in road accidents during World War II that were blamed on the adverse conditions in the countries that were the transportation routes. The Warsaw Convention went one step further in attaching greater responsibility to the airline and air carrier companies that operate interstate flights to provide protection to passengers and cargo against acts of nature that may cause damage to the said belongings. The Warsaw Convention has been implemented in most of the countries that are a part of the Warsaw Zone of Europe.
Another rule that was added to the convention is one that bans the use of military guards or escort personnel while transporting strangers. This rule, however, did not come into effect immediately. It was introduced after a number of incidents were reported in which passengers who were not security cleared were attacked by armed forces or police who failed to react when they came under attack. In several instances, these incidents turned deadly and resulted in loss of life. Airlines operating in the zones agreed to adhere to these rules and many have already done so. They are required to take measures that will provide protection to passengers against the possibility of danger in case they fail to observe the rules.
Passengers are protected from damage or harm due to weather conditions by the Convention. The organization also stated that crew and passengers should be given adequate protection against the risk of injury or destruction. No member of the crew or passenger may be harmed by reason of an error or breach of procedure. It is also important that these rules and regulations are not flouted because it can amount to criminal prosecution and penalties.
Another rule is one that prohibits discrimination of passengers on the basis of race, nationality, religion, sex or age. Airlines that fail to comply with this commitment risk being enjoined by the court. A further provision states that children of passengers below the age of 18 who have been detained in the aircraft cannot be removed without the permission of their parents or legal guardians. This provision has been included to ensure the safety of children.
People who are subject to attack and violence in another country are protected by the Convention regardless of whether they are nationals of that country or not. Citizens of a country are protected by the Convention, even if they are outside their own country and therefore subject to attack or violence coming from another part of the world. The Warsaw Convention on International Relations prohibits the use of forced escape during an air collision or a landing by members of the media. The same provision also prohibits the use of deception as a means to escape and does not permit the evacuation of passengers who have been hit by a passenger plane. This provision protects passengers even if they are being held hostage by terrorists.
Another important provision of the Warsaw Convention is the prevention of the use of nuclear weapons and other arms that can be used against civilian populations. The United States and the Soviet Union signed the Convention on International Terrorism which prohibits the funding, sponsorship, preparation and use of terrorist groups. It also prohibits the transport of arms and ammunition that can be used for fighting wars. The European and American signatories to the Convention have signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty that prohibits testing of nuclear weapons and other arms and ammunition that can be used for war purposes in other countries. There are other human rights provisions included in the Convention.
Civilians who are injured during an airplane crash and need medical attention are covered by the Convention. The United States does not provide any monetary compensation but provides assistance to the families of such people. This assistance can be done through health care facilities or through the Red Cross. It also ensures that the wounded person is evacuated from the area. War victims who are unable to travel to safer areas are provided with the help they need and protected by the Convention from being harmed or exploited by the enemy.
Many people around the world take for granted the protection afforded to people in their country. However, they are very grateful to those who defend them because their country would not be able to defend itself without these people. The Warsaw Convention not only applies to civilian victims but to all military personnel fighting in a foreign country’s army and even to prisoners of war or enemy combatants who are in a foreign country. It is a significant yet minor provision of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.