Red Cross

Proclamation of the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross
The XXth International Conference of the Red Cross proclaims the following fundamental principles on which Red Cross action is based:
Humanity     The Red Cross, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours – in its international and national capacity – to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, co-operation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.
Impartiality     It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavours only to relieve suffering, giving priority to the most urgent cases of distress.
Neutrality     In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Red Cross may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
Independence     The Red Cross is independent. The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of t heir Governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with Red Cross principles.
Voluntary service     The Red Cross is a voluntary relief organization not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.
Unity     There can be only one Red Cross Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.
Universality     The Red Cross is a world-wide institution in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other.

2 thoughts on “Red Cross

  1. shinichi Post author

    The Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross : commentary

    The Fundamental Principles are the result of a century of experience. Proclaimed in Vienna in 1965, they bond together the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and guarantee the continuity of the Movement and its humanitarian work. In this succinct commentary intended for the general public, Jean Pictet explains the meaning of each of the seven Fundamental Principles; he analyses them on the basis of different criteria and presents all their various aspects, thus making this essential part of Red Cross doctrine accessible to all.

  2. shinichi Post author

    Humanitarianism in Question

    Politics, Power, Ethics

    edited by Michael Barnett, Thomas G. Weiss


    Chapter 1: Humanitarianism: A Brief History of the Present

    by Michael Barnett, Thomas G. Weiss


    What are the defining principles of humanitarianism? In his famous desiderata, Jean Pictet of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) identified seven core principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. The first four principles, though, arguably constitute the core. Humanity commands attention to all people. Impartiality requires that assistance be based on need and not on the basis of nationality, race, religion, gender, or political opinion. Neutrality demands that humanitarian organizations refrain from taking part in hostilities or from any action that either benefits or disadvantages the parties to the conflict. Independence demands that assistance should not be connected to any of the parties directly involved in armed conflicts or who have a stake in the outcome; accordingly, there is a general rule that agencies should either refuse or limit their reliance on government funding, especially if the donors have a stake in the outcome.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *