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
Educating the public about international humanitarian
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