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Encyclopedia > Noncombatant

Non-combatant is a military and legal term describing civilians not engaged in combat. It is distinguished from other protected persons, such as medical personnel (who are regular soldiers but are protected because of their medical function) and soldiers who are hors de combat (regular soldiers that are incapable of performing their military function, such as a downed pilot). It is also distinguished from unprotected persons: people who are fighting but are not members of a regular armed force and who therefore do not enjoy the protections of the Geneva Conventions.

See also: Combatant, laws of war, Geneva Conventions.



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