INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC)
http://www.icrc.org
Mission/Mandate:
“The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance.”
“Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.“
“It directs and coordinates the international relief activities conducted by the Movement in situations of conflict. It also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.“
“The ICRC has a legal mandate from the international community. That mandate has two sources:
- the Geneva Conventions, which task the ICRC with visiting prisoners, organizing relief operations, re-uniting separated families and similar humanitarian activities during armed conflicts;
- the ICRC's Statutes, which encourage it to undertake similar work in situations of internal violence, where the Geneva Conventions do not apply.” (ICRC Website, http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/68EE39?OpenDocument and http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/section_mandate?OpenDocument, accessed on 21 January 2008)
Target group:
Governments, policy makers, public, donors, parties involved in conflicts, victims of conflicts and human rights violations.
Objective:
“What we do:
- Try to ensure civilians not taking part in hostilities are spared and protected
- Visit prisoners of war and security detainees
- Transmit messages to and reunite family members separated by armed conflict
- Help to find missing persons
- Offer or facilitate access to basic health care services
- Provide urgently needed food, safe drinking water, sanitation and shelter
- Promote respect for international humanitarian law
- Monitor compliance with and contribute to further development of international humanitarian law
- Help reduce the impact of mines and explosive remnants of war on people
- Support National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to prepare for and respond to armed conflict and other situations of violence” (ICRC: ICRC in action, November 2006, http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/p0728/$File/ICRC_002_0728.PDF!Open, accessed on 21 January 2008)
Funding:
“The ICRC is funded by contributions from the States party to the Geneva Conventions (governments); national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies; supranational organizations (such as the European Commission); and public and private sources. All funding is voluntary.” (ICRC Website, http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList2/About_the_ICRC:Finances_and_budget?OpenDocument, accessed on 21 January 2008)
Additionally: Private sources, associations and companies; legacies; gifts (ICRC: Annual Review 2006, financial section,
http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/738EC6/$FILE/icrc_ar_06_Finances.pdf?OpenElement, accessed on 15 January 2008).
Scope of reporting:
The ICRC produces a wide range of communication materials whether to promote international humanitarian law, to increase awareness of dangers such as landmines or to outline activities in specific countries. Among these reports are the Annual Reports of the International Committee of the Red Cross, describing field activities out of 80 delegations worldwide; its mandate to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and its work to promote respect for international humanitarian law.
Further publications include: The Red Cross, Red Crescent magazine; International Review of the Red Cross (ICRC Website, http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/info_resources?OpenDocument, accessed on 15 January 2008).
Other topics of publications include: prison conditions, detainees, health, humanitarian situation, economic security, living conditions, missing persons, minors, women, reunifications of families, child soldiers, sanitation, wounded and sick persons as well as publications on the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement and publications on international humanitarian law (ICRC Website, http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/publications?OpenDocument, accessed on 15 January 2008).
Reporting methodology:
Reporting through national and regional delegations and field operations (BBC: Profile: ICRC, 18 January 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/country_profiles/3811549.stm, accessed on 21 January 2008).
Note: Significant numbers of the ICRC’s reports are never published: “If the ICRC observes a violation of the rules of war, it makes a confidential approach to the authorities responsible for the incident. Where violations are serious, repeated and established with certainty, and when confidential representations to the authorities have failed to improve the situation, it reserves the right to take a public stance by denouncing such failure to respect humanitarian law, provided that it deems such publicity to be in the interests of those affected or threatened by the violations. Such a step is exceptional.” (ICRC, September 2005, p.17)
For more details on ICRC’s policy of confidentiality, see:
ICRC: ICRC doesn’t publish its reports on prison visits - how can working confidentially be effective in preventing torture?, 15 November 2002
http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/5fmfn8?opendocument (accessed on 21 January 2008)
ICRC: The ICRC privilege not to testify: confidentiality in action, 28 February 2004
http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/5wsd9q?opendocument (accessed on 21 January 2008)
Financial Times: Crisis of confidence, 18 June 2005 (published on ICRC)
http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/6dzk8m?opendocument (accessed on 21 January 2008)
ICRC: Discover the ICRC, September 2005
http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/p0790/$File/ICRC_002_0790.PDF!Open (accessed on 21 January 2008)
Publication cycle:
Annual Reports
International Review of the Red Cross (quarterly)
All others: Irregular/on demand/unknown.
Languages:
English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese and Arabic.
Additional references:
BBC: Profile: International Committee of the Red Cross, 18 January 2008
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/country_profiles/3811549.stm (accessed on 21 January 2008)
ICRC: Discover the ICRC, September 2005
http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/p0790/$File/ICRC_002_0790.PDF!Open (accessed on 21 January 2008)
International Review of the Red Cross, 2009 - No. 874: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): Its mission and work (Adopted by the Assembly of the ICRC on 19 June 2008), 30 June 2009
http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/review-874-p339/$File/irrc-874-mission-work.pdf (accessed on 10 February 2010)
Homepage:
http://www.icrc.org/eng
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