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International Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement

This presentation provides a quick overview to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Focuses on activities of the ICRC, the Federation and the National Societies, as well as a brief history of the Movement and the Fundamental Principles. Also discusses the American Red Cross, current Movement activities around the world, and career options. Presented to graduate students at Tulane University.

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International Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement

  1. 1. International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement Jessica H. Ports International Humanitarian Law Instructor, American Red CrossPhD Student, Payson Center for International Development, Tulane University
  2. 2. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement National ICRC Societies Federation
  3. 3. The Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
  4. 4. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement National ICRC Societies Federation
  5. 5. ICRC ActivitiesThe ICRC works on a neutral and impartial basis to protect and assist peopleaffected by conflict by: Visiting prisoners of war and security detainees Searching for missing persons Transmitting messages between separated family members Reuniting dispersed families Providing safe water, food and medical assistance to those in need Disseminating International Humanitarian Law (IHL): promotes respect, monitors compliance and contributes to development
  6. 6. Current ICRC Activities in Libya (Regional Delegation in Tunis)– Supporting local medical teams and working closely with the Libyan Red Crescent to alleviate the plight of civilians affected by the conflict.– Visiting detainees in Benghazi and seeking access to other regions of Libya, in particular the western part of the country– Issued a statement on 19 March calling upon all parties – the international forces, the Libyan government forces, and the armed opposition – to abide strictly by the rules and principles of international humanitarian law.– Launched appeal for 24 million CHF to provide basic supplies and services for around 110,000 people inside Libya and 100,000 crossing over the border into Tunisia.
  7. 7. Current ICRC Activities in Côte d’Ivoire (Regional Delegation in Abidjan)– First-aid workers have attended to nearly 200 wounded & evacuated 70 serious cases to medical facilities.– Provided medicines for the hospitals in the western cities of Bloléquin and Toulepleu.– Refugees in border communities have made over 350 free phone calls and send Red Cross messages to their loved ones in Côte dIvoire. This brings the total of restored contacts to over 750 since mid-December 2010.– Made 6 visits to places of detention to monitor the conditions & treatment of detainees.– Provided food aid for 1,020 detainees in 10 prisons.– 1,370 wells were disinfected and chlorinated, and over 1,000 people received training in basic hygiene.
  8. 8. International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies Programs on behalf of victims of natural disasters, socio-economic crises and health emergencies; refugees, and member national societies include•Promoting humanitarian values•Disaster response•Disaster preparedness•Health and community care•Capacity building
  9. 9. Examples of Current Federation Activities• Central African Republic (Floods, August 2010) – 145,252 CHF allocated from the DREF to support the CARCS in delivering assistance to some 330 families (1,650 beneficiaries). – Essential non-food items were distributed to the targeted families, including cooking utensils, mats and blankets to assist with day to day living. Distribution of bed nets reduced risks of malaria infections. Improved sanitation conditions through construction and rehabilitation of almost 500 latrines, coupled with hygiene promotion to 6,144 helped protect against an outbreak of water born diseases.• Japan (Earthquake & tsunami, March 2011) – Supporting the JRCS in deployments of 85 medical teams operating out of hospitals & mobile clinics, Each team includes a trained psychosocial nurse, who allows survivors to voice their grief and anxieties, & discuss practical concerns. JRC has 2,400 trained psychosocial nurses and an eight-member specialist psychosocial team. – 439,337 people are being housed in 2,457 evacuation centers, mostly schools and other public buildings. – 31 out of 47 JRCS branches have special equipment to deal with the nuclear biological chemical disaster. – JRCS and IFRC have set up a family link website.
  10. 10. National Society Activities• Serve as independent national relieforganizations• Support public authorities and mitigate humansuffering through prevention, disaster relief,education, and health/social welfare programs• Assist victims of armed conflicts and naturaldisasters through the Red Cross/Red CrescentMovement• Disseminate and assist their governments indisseminating IHL• Work with governments to ensure respect forIHL and to protect the emblem(s)• Support the ICRC and the InternationalFederation
  11. 11. Movement Timeline• 1959: Solferino, Italy – Henri Dunant witnesses the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino• 1863: Geneva, Switzerland – Dunant forms what will become the ICRC, the red cross is selected as a protective emblem.• 1864: Twelve states sign the 1st Geneva Convention - protection of wounded enemy soldiers and those caring for them.
  12. 12. Movement Timeline• 1881: Clara Barton establishes the American Red Cross, begins to include disaster relief in Red Cross activities. (first activity: flooding in Johnstown, Ohio)• 1896 & 1898 – Clara Barton & ARC assist Armenian victims of Turkish oppression, provides supplies to Cuban victims of the Spanish-American War. • 1905: American Red Cross receives Congressional Charter • 1914-1918: World War I – ICRC expands activities to include prisoners of war.
  13. 13. Movement Timeline• 1919 – League of Red Cross Societies is formed (precursor to the Federation)• 1928 – Recognition of respective mandates for ICRC, National Societies, and League (birth of the Standing Commission).• 1941: American Red Cross begins National Blood Donor Service• 1949: Geneva Conventions – The wounded and sick in armed forces in the field – Wounded, sick and shipwrecked members of armed forces at sea – Prisoners of war – Civilian persons
  14. 14. Movement Timeline• 1965: Proclamation of the Fundamental Principles• 1977: Additional Protocols to the 1949 Geneva Conventions – Protection of victims of international and non- international armed conflicts• 1991: Dissemination of IHL becomes a priority for the Movement.• 1997: The Seville Agreement is signed.• 2005: Third Protocol relating to the adoption of an additional emblem
  15. 15. The Movement Today• There are 186 member Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.• Network of approximately 97 million members and volunteers worldwide.• Paid to Volunteer Staff Ratio of 1:20• Provides assistance to some 233 million beneficiaries each year.
  16. 16. Red Cross Employment• ICRC – Skills always in demand: hospital administration, water & sanitation engineers, nurses, mechanics, interpreters/translators. – Recruitment of delegates is temporarily restricted to Arabic, Russian, and Spanish speakers.• Federation – Food security, shelter, and logistics specialists in demand. – Specialists in one of the 4 key areas: promotion of fundamental principles and humanitarian values, disaster response, disaster preparedness, health and care in the community. – Multilingual preferred (IFRC official languages are Arabic, English, French, and Spanish
  17. 17. Additional Resources• International Committee of the Red Cross:• International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: • American Red Cross: • Southeast Louisiana Chapter: • Jessica’s Resources: • Questions? Email: