University of Minnesota

Convention on Duties and Rights of States in the Event of Civil Strife, 134 L.N.T.S. 45, entered into force May 21, 1929.

[The Human Rights Library wishes to express its gratitude to the Institute Henry Dunant for its contribution of this document.]

The Governments of the Republics represented at the Sixth International Conference of American States, held in the city of Havana, Republic of Cuba, in the year 1928, desirous of reaching an agreement as to the duties and rights of States in the event of civil strife, have appointed the following Plenipotentiaries:

(Here follow the names of Plenipotentiaries)

Who, after exchanging their respective full powers, which were found to be in good and due form, have agreed upon the following:

Article 1. The Contracting States bind themselves to observe the following rules with regard to civil strife in another one of them:

First: To use all means at their disposal to prevent the inhabitants of their territory, nationals or aliens, from participating in, gathering elements, crossing the boundary or sailing from their territory for the purpose of starting or promoting civil strife.

Second: To disarm and intern every rebel force crossing their boundaries, the expenses of internment to be borne by the State where public order may have been disturbed. The arms found in the hands of the rebels may be seized and withdrawn by the Government of the country granting asylum, to be returned, once the struggle has ended, to the State in civil strife.

Third: To forbid the traffic in arms and war material, except when intended for the Government, while the belligerency of the rebels has not been recognized, in which latter case the rules of neutrality shall be applied.

Fourth: To prevent that within their jurisdiction there be equipped, armed or adapted for warlike purposes any vessel intended to operate in favour of the rebellion.

Art. 2. The declaration of piracy against vessels which have risen in arms, emanating from a Government, is not binding upon the other States.

The State that may be injured by depredations originating from insurgent vessels is entitled to adopt the following punitive measures against them: Should the authors of the damages be warships, it may capture and return them to the Government of the State to which they belong, for their trial; should the damage originate with merchantmen, the injured State may capture and subject them to the appropriate penal laws.

The insurgent vessel, whether a warship or a merchantman, which flies the flag of a foreign country to shield its actions, may also be captured and tried by the State of said flag.

Art. 3. The insurgent vessel, whether a warship or a merchantman, equipped by the rebels, which arrives at a foreign country or seeks refuge therein, shall be delivered by the Government of the latter to the constituted Government of the State in civil strife, and the members of the crew shall be considered as political refugees.

Art. 4. The present Convention does not affect obligations previously undertaken by the Contracting Parties through international agreements.

Art. 5. After being signed, the present Convention shall be submitted to the ratification of the Signatory States. The Government of Cuba is charged with transmitting authentic certified copies to the Governments for the aforementioned purpose of ratification. The instrument of ratification shall be deposited in the archives of the Pan American Union in Washington, the Union to notify the signatory Governments of said deposit. Such notification shall be considered as an exchange of ratifications. This Convention shall remain open to the adherence of non-Signatory States.

In witness whereof the aforenamed Plenipotentiaries sign the present Convention in Spanish, English, French and Portuguese, in the city of Havana, the twentieth day of February 1928.

(Here follow signatures)