+41 (0)22 730 20 32

Components of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is made up of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the National Societies, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

All the above components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (the “Movement”) are guided by the seven Fundamental Principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. In the same manner, all Red Cross and Red Crescent activities have one central purpose: to help without discrimination those who suffer and thus contribute to peace in the world.

The International Committee of the Red Cross is an impartial, neutral and independent organization with an exclusively humanitarian mission to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance. It directs and coordinates in situations of conflict the international relief activities conducted by the Movement. It also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies works on the basis of the Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to inspire facilitate and promote all humanitarian activities carried out by its member National Societies to improve the situation of the most vulnerable people. Founded in 1919, the Federation directs and coordinates international assistance of the Movement to victims of natural and technological disasters, to refugees and in health emergencies. It acts as the official representative of its member Societies in the international field. It promotes cooperation between National Societies, and works to strengthen their capacity to carry out effective disaster preparedness, health and social programmes.

National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (187) form the basic units and constitute a vital force of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in nearly all countries. National Societies act as auxiliaries to the public authorities of their own countries in the humanitarian field and provide a range of services including disaster relief, health and social programmes. During wartime, National Societies assist the affected civilian population and support the army medical services where appropriate.

“I dream of a Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement that has a global moral authority and can call
the attention of the world to humanitarian issues of concern, a Movement, which independently chooses
which issues to focus on” Henry Dunant