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German Red Cross
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Fundamental principles of International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

The fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are taken from the foreword of the Statutes of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (adopted by the 25th International Conference of the Red Cross at Geneva in 1986, amended in 1995 and 2006).


Foto: Menschlichkeit: Baby schaut über Schulter eines Rotkreuzhelfers
Foto: S. Trappe / DRK

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, co-operation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.


Abbildung: Unparteilichkeit: Schlacht von Solferino (Gemälde von Carlo Bossoli)
Foto: IKRK-Archiv - Gemälde von Carlo Bossoli

It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavours to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.


Foto: Neutralität: Rotkreuzzelt inmitten von Flüchtlingen.
Foto: H. Davis / IFRC

In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.


Foto: Unabhängigkeit: Rotkreuzhelfer hilft Flüchtlingen.
Foto: Howard Davis / IFRC

The Movement is independent. The National Societies, whilst auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement.

Voluntary service

Foto: Freiwilligkeit: Rotkreuzhelfer entladen ein Hilfsflugzeug
Foto: T. Mayer / IKRK-Archiv

It is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.


Foto: Einheit: Portrait von zwei südostasiatischen Mädchen.
Foto: T. Mayer / DRK-Archiv

There can only be one Red Cross or Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.


Foto: Universalität: Fahne vor einem See
Foto: W. Torres / IKRK-Archiv

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide