Istanbul and beyond: Perspectives and pledges of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement on the occasion of the World Humanitarian Summit


In his report prepared for the World Humanitarian Summit, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon identified critical challenges to the humanitarian sector and issued calls for action to defend and reaffirm core humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law, increase investment in resilience and local humanitarian capacity, and take major steps to address the mounting humanitarian needs of migrants and displaced persons. This report from the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement provides perspective and experience of the Movement on these important questions and on other issues, such as volunteer safety and health services in crisis, that should be high on the humanitarian agenda. It also sets out pledges and calls to action, many drawn from resolutions adopted at the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, held in Geneva in December 2015.

Available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish

Joint International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement Paper on the Grand Bargain


Humanitarian organizations are responding to more needs than ever. Future investment in humanitarian action must close the gap between growing demands and the resources available to meet them. The United Nations Secretary-General convened a High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, which released a report in January 2016. Among the proposed recommendations was a ‘Grand Bargain’ between major donors and humanitarian organizations that seeks greater efficiency and improved incentives in financing humanitarian action. This joint IFRC–ICRC paper offers the Movement response to the Grand Bargain.

Available in English

Beyond Ebola: from dignified response to dignified recovery

IFRC, 2016

Ebola is no stranger to Africa but, for the past year and a half, the West African epidemic has forced us all to rethink how we should respond to health emergencies. Unless the lessons learned in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are put into universal practice, the virus disease will return – and a repetition does not bear thinking about.

Available in English

The domestic Implementation of international humanitarian law (CD version)

ICRC, 2015

This manual is a practical tool to assist policy-makers, legislators and other stakeholders worldwide in adhering to international humanitarian law (IHL) instruments and implementing them domestically. Drawing on the ICRC Advisory Service’s 15 years of experience, the manual offers guidance to help states implement IHL and meet all their obligations under that body of law, including the repression of serious violations. The document also includes links to the Treaties and Commentaries database and National Implementation database, while the CD version of the manual includes two databases: the database of national implementation measures and a compilation of IHL treaties and documents.

Available in English

Child protection action plan 2015–2020 and Child protection in emergencies – Briefing paper

IFRC, 2016

The Child protection action plan 2015–2020 aims to define a practical plan of action for the IFRC Secretariat to effectively integrate child protection as a minimum standard within its organizational systems and development, its response to protracted crisis and all its emergency operations. The Child protection in emergencies – Briefing paper offers basic guidance to agencies that respond to emergencies and are, therefore, responsible for ensuring that they meet the child protection minimum standards. This includes the IFRC and all National Societies.

Available in English

The Humanitarian Law & Policy Blog

ICRC, 2016

The Humanitarian Law & Policy Blog is a new web platform that offers a space for concise analyses, opinions and accessible updates on humanitarian affairs ( Launched on the occasion of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, the blog aims to become a reference platform for accessible debates and opinions on humanitarian policy and law issues of relevance to ICRC. It also aims to further develop the ICRC’s contribution to these regional and global debates, raising humanitarian issues and concerns that need to be addressed. It will be continuously fed with substantive content from a number of ICRC experts and external contributors.

Updated commentaries on the Geneva Conventions

ICRC, 2016

The four Geneva Conventions of 1949 form the foundation of international humanitarian law and provide a framework for what is acceptable and what is prohibited in armed conflict. In the 1950s, the ICRC published a set of commentaries on these Conventions, giving practical guidance on their implementation. But to reflect the developments in law and practice since then, the ICRC has commissioned a new set of commentaries which seek to reflect the current interpretations of the Conventions. The first instalment, the updated Commentary on the First Convention, has been published online at

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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