What is Safe Conduct?

Legal Definition
Safe conduct is the situation in time of international conflict or war where one state, a party to such conflict, issues to a person, usually an enemy state's subject, a pass or document to allow the enemy alien to traverse its territory without harassment, bodily harm, or fear of death. Safe conduct is only granted in exceptional circumstances. Safe conduct may be given to an enemy to allow retreat under surrender terms or for a meeting to negotiate, to a stateless person, or to somebody who for some reason would normally not be able to pass.

The term safe conduct is also used to mean the document authorizing this security.

In the early Middle Ages, during some periods of Islamic control of the Holy Land, Christian pilgrims could request letters of safe conduct from a Muslim ruler allowing them to pass through their lands to Jerusalem. An example of safe conduct in the 20th century was Lenin's "sealed train": a citizen of Russia, a country at war with Germany, Lenin was permitted to travel from his exile in Switzerland through Germany, without stopping, to return to Russia. It was in Germany's interest to allow this as it was hoped that he would destabilize Russia. Another example would be the Chieu Hoi program during the Vietnam War.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Comm. law, war. A passport or permission from a neutral state to persons who are thus authorized to go and return in safety, and, sometimes, to carry away certain things, in safety. According to common usage, the term passport is employed on ordinary occasions, for the permission given to persons when there is no reason why they should not go where they please: and safe-conduct is the name given to the instrument which authorizes certain persons, as enemies, to go into places where they could not go without danger, unless thus authorized by the government.

2. A safe-conduct is also the name of an instrument given to the captain or master of a ship to proceed on a particular voyage: it usually contains his name and residence, the name, description and destination of the ship, with such other matters as the practice of the place requires. This document is indispensably necessary for the safety of every neutral ship.

3. The act of congress of April 30th, 1790, s. 27, punishes the violation of any safe-conduct or passport granted under the authority of the United States, on conviction, with imprisonment, not exceeding three years, and a fine at the discretion of the court. Vide Conduct; Passport; and 18 Vin. Ab. 272.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
A guaranty or security granted by the king under the great seal to a stranger, for his safe coming into and passing out of the kingdom. Cowell. One of the papers usually carried by vessels in time of war, and necessary to the safety of neutral merchantmen. It is in the nature of a license to the vessel to proceed on a designated voyage, and commonly contains the name of the master, the name, description, and nationality of the ship, the voyage intended, and other matters.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary