International Services
The American Red Cross is a part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement - a phrase that symbolizes the unity of all Red Cross work carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 170 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies around the world, and the Magen David Adom in Israel.

The mission of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is to relieve human suffering, wherever it may be found; to protect life and health; to ensure respect for the human being, particularly in times of armed conflict and natural disaster; to help prevent disease; to promote health and social welfare; and to encourage voluntary service.  The Fundamental Principles of the Movement are humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.

As a major part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, American Red Cross International Services supports humanitarian relief around the world.  Activities include -
  • Tracing relatives separated during disasters or wars.
  • Educating the public about international humanitarian law.
  • Responding with personnel, financial aid, and in-kind donations in response to appeals for relief assistance in armed conflicts and international disasters.
  • Helping to strengthen Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in other nations by sharing the expertise and resources of the American Red Cross.

International Humanitarian Law
The 1949 Geneva Conventions and 1977 Additional Protocols are the principal legal documents that define international humanitarian law.  They define fundamental rights for civilians and for combatants removed from fighting due to injury, illness, or capture.  In short, the Geneva Conventions mandate that anyone not actively taking part in an armed conflict must be protected and their rights respected.

Through a comprehensive global communications network, the Red Cross helps to locate, reunite, and exchange Red Cross messages between people separated from their loved ones because of war, civil disturbance, or natural disaster.

Relief and Development
Through the generosity of the American people, the American Red Cross responds with personnel, financial aid, and gifts of goods or services to appeals for assistance to victims of international disasters and armed conflicts.

Community Based Activities
A variety of other American Red Cross international services are also carried out by local Red Cross chapters in hundreds of communities across the nation, including youth programs, friendship boxes, and capacity building projects with Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies in other countries.

For more information, contact your local 
Red Cross Chapter