A mercenary is an individual who is hired to take part in an armed conflict but is not part of a regular army or other governmental military force. Mercenaries fight for money or other recompense rather than for political interests. In the last century, mercenaries have increasingly come to be seen as less entitled to protections by rules of war than non-mercenaries. Indeed the Geneva Convention declares that mercenaries are not recognized as legitimate combatants and do not have to be granted the same legal protections as captured soldiers of a regular army. In practice, whether or not a person is a mercenary may be a matter of degree, as financial and political interests may overlap.
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