The world celebrates the historic International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement on 8th May annually and, with it, recognizes the brilliant contributions by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) towards humanity.
On 8 May 1828, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient Henry Dunant was born, and this day is celebrated in his memory. He is the first Swiss personality to become a Nobel laureate. The man with a background in business and social activism is widely regarded as the master behind the Geneva Convention of 1864, which establishes the international law for humanitarian treatment in war.
What makes Henry inspirational is his work in the book: A Memory of Solferino. In the book, he shares memoirs and episodes from his trip to Italy in 1859. These were the times of the great Battle of Solferino led by the French and Piedmont Sardinia against the Austrian kingdom. It was this book which led to the making of ICRC or International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863.
The first Red Cross Day was observed in 1948. However, it was only in 1984 when the official title – World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day – was granted to this day. The objective was to recognise the remarkable works of Red Crescent groups of various Muslim countries.
Mission of the ICRC
“The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral, and independent organisation whose independently humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance.”
The mission of the humanitarian organisation is to shadow the victims of international and internal wars and bring them under one umbrella. It seeks to provide support and protection to all who face such atrocities. The idea was to make the countries with their signatures on the Geneva Convention join hands towards the crucial task of providing relief to victims of abuse.
Also, the Geneva Convention states multiple tasks that comprise of the ICRC’s core values. Currently, the organisation aids its targeted citizens in the areas of famine, disaster, disease, war, and calamities both at home and all over the world.
INITIATIVES BY ICRC
As 2019 saw the celebration of the World Red Cross Red Crescent Day with 14 million volunteers, we see hope in terms of making the world a better place to live in. The theme for this day was #Love.
The world saw emergencies and crises like
- The Rohingya crisis of Bangladesh
- Mass relocation
- Territorial integrity issues in Palestine
- The spread of viral hepatitis
- Earthquake in Indonesia.
ICRC has contributed towards the protection and dignity of civilians all over the world.
- Its support projects at the Central African Republic has promoted sanitation, water supplies, relocation of internally displaced population, assistance towards future economic security, and also has led to the reunion of many African families affected with the crisis.
- The humanitarian crisis at the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) led to the loss of millions of civilians in 2017. ICRC undertook housing, relocation, treatment of sickness, aid to the survivors of sexual violence, the reunification of the society and families, and various other measures.