Defence written question – answered on 27th January 2005.

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Photo of Peter Kilfoyle Peter Kilfoyle Labour, Liverpool, Walton

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what mechanisms the Government are using to assess their responsibility towards Iraqi civilians under the Geneva conventions in the absence of a reliable estimate of Iraqi casualties.

Photo of Adam Ingram Adam Ingram Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence

The United Kingdom takes seriously its responsibilities and obligations under Geneva Conventions which identify civilians as protected persons". The Ministry of Defence has not previously published estimates of civilian casualties because there are no reliable means of producing such estimates. There is no specific requirement under the Geneva Conventions to produce estimates of civilian casualties.

We take great care to ensure that civilians are protected and that our obligations under the Geneva Conventions are met. All personnel serving in Iraq are fully briefed on the Law of Armed Conflict and appropriate measures are taken to avoid loss of civilian life or property. We always evaluate planned operations to ensure that they do not carry an unacceptable risk of causing unintended civilian casualties.

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