International Movement

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies was founded in 1919. Its Headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland. The general objective of the Federation is to inspire, encourage, facilitate and promote all forms and types of humanitarian activities of the National Societies with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering and thereby contributing to safeguarding peace. IFRC encourages and supports each country in the establishment and development of a National Society. IFRC advises and assists the NSs in developing their activities. IFRC organises international relief actions for disaster victims, refugees or on other programmes. The Federation is the permanent liaison body between the National Societies and acts as their representative and speaker in the international field. Since September 1994 the Federation has the status of a permanent observer at the UN General Assembly.

For more information visit the IFRC/RC website

  The International Committee of the Red Cross  is an independent private humanitarian institution acting as a neutral intermediary in armed conflicts. Basing its actions on the International Humanitarian Law whose initiator it is, the ICRC provides protection and assistance to the victims, no matter whether they are prisoners-of-war or interned civilians, wounded or sick, displaces persons or population in occupied territories. The ICRC can offer its services to the victims of internal disturbances and tension which are not provided for byu the 1949 Geneva Conventions. ICRC delegates visit and improve the situation of political detainees. In order to successfully fulfill its tasks, the ICRC has a considerable administrative and operative structure in its Headquarters in Geneva. There is also a Central tracing Agency at the ICRC whose activities include receiving, registering, conveying information to the relatives of victims of armed conflicts, searching for missing persons, reuniting separated families, issuing of different documents and references.

For more information visit the ICRC website


National Societies of Red Cross and Red Crescent  act as auxiliaries to the public authorities of their own countries in the humanitarian field and provide a range of services including disaster relief, health and social programmes, and assistance to people affected by war. Together, the National Societies have 97 million members and volunteers, and 300,000 employees, assisting some 233 million beneficiaries each year.

A list of all National Societies, their contact people and addresses, and their emails and web sites (where available) can be found in the Directory section of the IFRC website.