World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day
World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

Annual celebration of the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is known as World Red Cross and Red Crescent day. World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is celebrated on 8 May each year, which is the birth anniversary of Henry Dunant who was the founder of International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland. International Committee of the Red Cross is a humanitarian institution three-time Nobel Prize laureate based in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1864, Geneva Convention started The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. This Movement is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering.

Four treaties, and three additional protocols that establish the standards of international law for humanitarian treatment of war have given the ICRC a mandate to protect victims of international and internal armed conflicts which includes war wounded, prisoners, refugees, and civilians which is compromised by Geneva Convention. Under protocol III, medical and religious personnel may display a protective sign of Red Crystal instead of Red Cross or Red Crescent at the times of war. People are performing a humanitarian service who are displaying any of these protective emblems and must be protected by all parties to the conflict.

In 1859, Algeria was occupied by France at that time. In June, Henry Dunant traveled to Italy to meet French emperor napoleon III, to discuss business difficulties. When he arrived, he witnessed the battle of solferino in which about 40,000 soldiers died and left wounded on the field in a single day from both sides. There were no organized and well-established army nursing systems for casualties and no safe and protected institutions to accommodate and treat those who were wounded on the battlefield until 19th century. He was shocked after witnessing the suffering wounded soldiers. He devoted himself to the treatment of wounded soldier abandoning his original intent of the trip. He motivated local people to aid wounded soldiers and succeeded in organizing a level of relief assistance. Then he wrote a book on the scenario of Solferino and published with his own money in 1862 which was titled as A Memory Of Solferino. He sent some copies to leading political parties and explicitly advocated the formation of national voluntary relief organizations to help nurse wounded soldiers in the case of war.In 1863, the international conference organized in Geneva to develop possible measures to improve medical services on the battlefield .  The conference was attended by 36 individuals: eighteen official delegates from national governments, six delegates from other non-governmental organizations, seven non-official foreign delegates, and the five members of the International Committee.  The states and kingdoms represented by official delegates were Baden, Bavaria, France, Britain, Hanover, Hesse, Italy, Austria, Prussia, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and Spain. The final resolutions adopted on 29 October 1863, were:

  • The foundation of national relief societies for wounded soldiers;
  • Neutrality and protection for wounded soldiers;
  • The utilization of volunteer forces for relief assistance on the battlefield;
  • The organization of additional conferences to enact these concepts in legally binding international treaties; and
  • The introduction of a common distinctive protection symbol for medical personnel in the field, namely a white armlet bearing a red cross.

In 1948, the first Redcross Day was celebrated on 8th May when the General Assembly of the International Federation of the Red Cross Societies (IFRC) asked the League of the Red Cross Societies (LORCS)  to adopt an annual International Red Cross Day. The official title of the day has became “World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day” in 1984 after change over

11,000  people are employed worldwide from 80 countries operated by ICRC. Nations which are affected by armed conflicts and other sources of violence could relieved the extensive missions and delegations of the ICRC. In 2013 the ten largest operations worldwide are Pakistan, Mali/Niger, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Colombia, Israel, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan.

ICRC returned to their families in the RDC 838 unaccompanied children including over 390 former child soldiers, 34 of whom had been in neighboring countries with support from the Red Cross Society of the DRC in 2011


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