Source description last updated: 19 June 2019
In brief: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a Geneva-based international humanitarian institution that is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and is mandated to protect and assist victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence.
Coverage on ecoi.net:
News releases (Appeal of News Release), Studies (Special and Analytical Report), Annual Reports (Periodical Report)
Covered quarterly on ecoi.net for countries of priorities A-E (all available countries).
“Established in 1863, the ICRC operates worldwide, helping people affected by conflict and armed violence and promoting the laws that protect victims of war. An independent and neutral organization, its mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949.” The ICRC “employ[s] some 16,000 people in more than 80 countries.” (ICRC website: Who we are, undated)
“The work of the ICRC is based on the Geneva Conventions of 1949, their Additional Protocols, its Statutes – and those of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – and the resolutions of the International Conferences of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.” The ICRC “takes action in response to emergencies and at the same time promotes respect for international humanitarian law and its implementation in national law.” (ICRC website: Who we are, undated)
The ICRC’s mission statement reads: “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 armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance. The ICRC also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. […] It directs and coordinates the international activities conducted by the Movement in armed conflicts and other situations of violence.” (ICRC website: The ICRC's mandate and mission, undated)
“The ICRC is funded by voluntary 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.” (ICRC website: Finances, undated)
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: Africa, Asia & Pacific, Europe & Central Asia, the Middle East and the Americas
Thematic focus: issues relating to the protection of civilians, women, children, detainees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), migrants, people with disabilities, missing people
Studies of the ICRC may be based on field surveys that may include both quantitative (e.g. questionnaires on random samples) and qualitative components (e.g. focus group discussions, in-depth-interviews and key informant interviews) (see, for example, ICRC: addressing violence against health care in Peshawar; A mixed methods study, December 2018, p. 8 and ICRC: Internal Displacement In North East Nigeria; Operationalising the Kampala Convention in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, December 2016, pp. 18-19), ICRC delegations’ documentation of alleged violations (see, for example, ICRC: Changing behavior tackling violence against health care in Niger, the Central African Republic and Nigeria, October 2018, p. 6) and literature reviews (see, for example, ICRC: Internal Displacement In North East Nigeria; Operationalising the Kampala Convention in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, December 2016, p. 18).
Language(s) of publications:
Further reading / links:
Bugnion, François: The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Protection of War Victims, 30 November 2003
Dempfer, Robert: Das Rote Kreuz – Von Helden im Rampenlicht und diskreten Helfern, 2009 [in German]
EFE: Taliban bans Red Cross and WHO operations in Afghanistan, 11 April 2019 https://www.efe.com/efe/english/world/taliban-bans-red-cross-and-who-operations-in-afghanistan/50000262-3950667
Forsythe, David P.: The ICRC: a unique humanitarian protagonist, March 2007
Riesenberger, Dieter: Das internationale Rote Kreuz; 1863–1977, 1992 [in German]
All links accessed 19 June 2019.