The Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement Ethics and tools for humanitarian action

ICRC and IFRC 2015

This booklet uses personal stories and case studies to explain what the Fundamental Principles are and how they apply in today’s world. Imagine you’re a volunteer driving an ambulance in a country going through civil war. What do you do when a soldier refuses to let you through a checkpoint because your patient is from an opposition-controlled area? Or you’re delivering aid after a catastrophic flood. Who do you help first? These questions are common for aid workers around the world. To help answer them, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement makes use of its seven Fundamental Principles — humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.

Available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish

Global Review on Volunteering Report

IFRC 2015

This report draws on the voices and perspectives of almost 600 volunteer managers, delegates and volunteers from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, as well as external experts in 158 countries, to explore the challenges of promoting and supporting volunteering in the context of significant local and global change.

Available in English

Urban services during protracted armed conflict

ICRC 2015

Urbanization is constantly on the rise, with cities already absorbing more than half of the world’s population and armed conflicts increasingly being fought in urban settings. Regions facing protracted armed conflict see a steady decline in essential public services, while the relief–rehabilitation–development paradigm and funding mechanisms fail to provide a satisfactory response in these settings. Based on more than 30 years of ICRC experience in protracted armed conflict in urban settings, this report underlines the challenges, describes the characteristics and complexity of essential services, questions current paradigms and proposes new avenues to be explored to better respond to the needs of urban communities increasingly affected by these phenomena.

Available in English

Unseen, unheard: Gender-based violence in disasters

IFRC 2015

Although it is increasingly recognized that gender-based violence (GBV) is a major feature of many conflicts, its occurrence during disasters is not as well understood. This study, commissioned by the IFRC, is designed to foster that discussion within both the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and the larger humanitarian community.

Full report available in English; executive summary in Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish


Online tools

Advocacy Resource Centre
Global Road Safety Partnership/IFRC 2015

The Global Road Safety Partnership, a hosted project of the IFRC, has released an essential new web-based resource to support advocacy efforts for improved road safety policies and implementation of programmes. This new online Advocacy Resource Centre is a one-stop resource for civil society organizations, National Societies and individuals campaigning for road safety policies or policy implementation. Content has been gathered from 43 countries, including the work of many National Societies, and will continue to be built upon throughout 2016, with a key focus on low- and middle-income countries, who share the largest burden of fatalities and injuries resulting from road crashes.
Available in English


What happens when machines can decide who to kill?

It’s the stuff of science fiction: machines that make decisions about who and when to kill. Referred to as “autonomous weapons”, they’re already in use to some degree. But as more sophisticated systems are being developed we wanted to an expert in the field about whether such systems comply with international humanitarian law and what it means for humanity to give machines the power over human life and death.

‘Wildfire diaries’ and radical change in communications

In this episode, we talk with humanitarian communicator Kathy Mueller who produced our first magazine podcast series, The Wildfire Diaries, about massive wildfires in Northern Canada in 2017. We talk about that series, her many international missions, and the big changes in humanitarian communications since she began with the Canadian Red Cross almost 20 years ago.

The power of storytelling

In this episode, we talk about the power of storytelling to inform and inspire. “Storytelling is a fundamental aspect of human communication,” says our guest Prodip, a volunteer and multi-media storyteller for the Bangladesh Red Crescent. “It inspires us to be a hero of our own community.” We also speak with one such community hero, Dalal al-Taji, a longtime volunteer and advocate for inclusion of people with disabilities in emergencies response. “In disasters. persons with disabilities sometimes get forgotten.”

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