International Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement


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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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  • Over the past week (report dated 04 March 2011), the ICRC has sent 16 emergency specialists, including doctors and nurses, to the east of Libya to protect and assist the population together with the Libyan Red Crescent, which has been responding to the crisis since it started. So far, in total, the ICRC has mobilized more than 70 emergency staff to respond to the diverse needs arising from the violence.On 3 March, two Libyan Red Crescent ambulances were shot at in the city of Misrata, resulting in two of their volunteers being injured. One of the ambulances was also completely burnt. "We deplore the fact that Red Crescent volunteers have come under fire. This is quite simply unacceptable," said the ICRC's director general, Yves Daccord. "Humanitarian workers must be allowed to carry out their work, and patients must be given safe access to medical care.”16 March: One month after armed violence broke out in Libya, the fighting continues and is now spreading to the country’s most populated areas. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today transferred its staff in Benghazi to the eastern city of Tobruk, where it will continue to assist victims of the conflict.Humanitarian activities in and near Benghazi will still be carried out by the Libyan Red Crescent. Before leaving the area, the ICRC handed over to the Red Crescent food and other essential items sufficient to cover the needs of up to 15,000 people for one month.Sources;: Libyans stranded on the border:
  • Activities in the past month:
  • The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) reported 439,337 people are being housed in 2,457 evacuation centers, mostly schools and other public buildings.The Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) The number of Natural Disaster Response Team (NDRT) has been increased from 62 to 115. More than 2 million volunteers have registered with JRCS. They have been helping with the distribution of relief items, preparing hot meals, clearing debris, flying helicopters, and radio communications. Helicopter teams were mobilized on 13 March 2011 to assist evacuation, deliver medicine and food to hospitals, and carry volunteers from Yamagata to Sendai. 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 to help family members contact one another.
  • We are guided by Strategy 2020 – our collective plan of action to tackle the major humanitarian and development challenges of the present decade. We will continue  ‘saving lives and changing minds’ by focusing our work in three key areas: 1) disaster response and recovery, 2) development and 3) promoting social inclusion and peace.Natural disasters have been increasing in number, scale and complexity.
  • First domestic disaster relief – flooding in Johnstown, Ohio (September 1881)First international efforts: 1896 & 1898
  • ROLE & MANDATE OF THE STANDING COMMISSIONThe Standing Commission’s raison d´être is to act as the trustee of the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which is the highest deliberative body of the Movement, meeting every four years. Between Conferences, the Standing Commission provides strategic guidance in the interest of all components of the Movement. Its functions are defined in article 18 of the Statutes of the Movement and have been further developed in Council of Delegates (CoD) and International Conference resolutions.In addition to its responsibilities regarding arrangements for International Conferences and meetings of the Council, the Standing Commission shall•promote harmony in the work of the Movement and, in this connection, coordination among its components;•encourage and further the implementation of resolutions of the International Conference;•examine, with these objects in view, matters which concern the Movement as a whole. A further purpose is, in consultation with the ICRC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and National Societies, to provide strategic guidance in matters, which concern the Movement as a whole. It is not operational. It prepares Movement-wide policies such as the Strategy for the Movement, which aim at harmonious coordination and cohesion in action, building on the strengths and specific mandates of each component.It is the one body on a permanent basis for the Movement where all components are represented and which meets regularly.
  • The bodies of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (International Red Cross) are: - the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent; - the Council of Delegates of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement; - the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT includes delegations from: - the National Societies; the ICRC; the Federation; States Parties to the Geneva Conventions, at present numbering 188. Normally it is held every four years. Each of these delegations shall have a single vote.THE COUNCIL OF DELEGATES includes delegations from: - the National Societies; the ICRC; the International Federation. The Council of Delegates is the meeting of the components of the Movement. It meets on the occasion of each International Conference and, in principle, on the occasion of each General Assembly of the Federation.THE STANDING COMMISSION OF THE RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT consists of nine members: - five members elected by the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent; two representatives from the ICRC, one of whom shall be the President; two representatives from the International Federation, one of whom shall be the President. In general it meets every six months. average, Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers extend the organisation’s paid workforce by a ratio of 1:20 – meaning that for every paid staff member there are 20 volunteers. This ratio is even greater in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, where there are 327 volunteers for every paid staff member and in South East Asia, where there are 432 volunteers for every paid staff member. The global network of RCRC volunteers contributes 6 billion US dollars in economic value through the services they deliver during disasters and every day through community development initiatives, according to the Federation president (March 2011)
  • The Movement currently has some 97 million members and volunteers throughout the world, including some 20 million active volunteers.More than 1,400 people, both specialized staff and delegates, are currently on field missions for the ICRC across the globe. This work is backed up by some 11,000 local employees and supported and coordinated by around 800 staff at its Geneva headquarters.
  • Follow the ICRC on and Twitter @icrc_englishFollow the Federation on Twitter @FederationFollow the American Red Cross on and Twitter @RedCrossSoutheast Louisiana Chapter on and Twitter @RedCrossSELA
  • 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: