The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the world's largest humanitarian network. The Movement is neutral and impartial, and provides protection and assistance to people affected by disasters and conflicts.
The Movement is made up of nearly 100 million members, volunteers and supporters in 187 National Societies. It has three main components:
As partners, the different members of the Movement support communities in becoming stronger and safer through a variety of development projects and humanitarian activities. The Movement also works in cooperation with governments, donors and other aid organizations to assist vulnerable people around the world.
The Movement has its own web site, with detailed sections on the history of the Movement, the emblem issue, the International Conference, and Red Cross Red Crescent magazine online.
The Strategy for the Movement (Update 2005) was adopted in 2001 and aims to strengthen the Movement's ability to reach vulnerable people with effective humanitarian action. It outlines objectives and expected results as to how the ICRC, the Federation and National Societies worldwide can all work together. It is available online (PDF file, 2.8 Mb, 34 pages).
The ICRC, the Federation and the National Societies are independent bodies. Each has its own individual status and exercises no authority over the others.
Setting the humanitarian agenda
The different Movement partners meet regularly to discuss common issues and share best practices.
Every four years, the different members of the Movement hold talks with representatives of the states party to the Geneva Conventions at the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The Conference is the Movement's highest deliberative body and offers an opportunity to examine cross-cutting priorities and challenges.
The Standing Commission serves as the trustee of the conference and offers strategic guidance to the Movement between meetings. It also promotes coordination between Movement partners, furthers the implementation of conference resolutions and examines issues of concern to the whole Movement.
In addition to the International Conference, two other important meetings take place every two years: the General Assembly, which is made up of delegates from all member National Societies, and the Council of Delegates, which brings together National Societies, the International Federation and the ICRC.
The assembly determines the general policies of the International Federation, while the council adopts resolutions on Movement action and advocacy.
More information :
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement at a glance (PDF document, 784 Kb, 8 pages)
Arabic version (PDF document 445 Kb, 2 pages)