Migration policy brief

Working with and for vulnerable migrants across the world is one of the long standing traditions of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

We have a role in providing humanitarian protection and assistance to those in need irrespective of their legal status. The adoption of the Policy on Migration by the Council of Delegates in November 2009 clarified our mandate to address the humanitarian concerns of migrants ‘living at the margins of conventional health, social and legal systems’, throughout their journey.

Our policy
Describes migration in an inclusive manner
The International Conference insisted that migrants’ needs must be addressed, “irrespective of their legal status”.

Focuses on migrants’ needs and vulnerabilities – rather than their legal-administrative status
The approach is strictly humanitarian and based on the recognition of each migrant’s individuality and aspirations.

Promotes integrated programming
We will combine immediate response to the needs of migrants with programmes designed to reduce vulnerabilities, and protect and empower them. (Art. 1.1)

Defends the principle of humanitarian access
Ensure that migrants have access to humanitarian assistance, essential services, and legal support…and obtain effective and unconditional access to all migrants, irrespective of their legal status. (Art. 1.2)

Requires humanitarian access to and for irregular migrants
Take into account the needs and vulnerabilities of irregular migrants. We shall take steps to respond to their needs, either through direct assistance, referral, or humanitarian advocacy efforts. (Art. 1.3)

Aims at humanizing migrants,rather than excluding them
We will involve migrants in their host communities (Art. 3.2) and integrate members of migrant communities as staff and volunteers into the National Society. (Art. 3.3)

Addresses legal issues as they concern needs + vulnerabilities
Sensitize partners and the public to the principle that no migrant is without rights, regardless of their legal status. (Art. 4.2)

Aims at individual assistance and protection in mixed migration
Support the right of mixed migrant groups to be considered on an individual basis and assist them to assert individual claims through adequate procedures. (Art. 7.4)

Mobilises against migratory pressures
Migratory pressures can be related to social and economic distress; linked to environmental degradation, natural or man-made hazards, or due to persecution, armed conflict, and violence. Supporting disaster preparedness and building resilience, we can contribute to alleviating pressures that induce people to migrate against their will and desire.

Neither prevents nor promotes migration
However: National Societies may raise awareness of potential risks of migration, particularly irregular migration…whilst avoiding to become instruments of governmental policies, aimed at preventing migration as a whole. (Art. 7.5)



La Federación Internacional de Sociedades de la Cruz Roja y de la Media Luna Roja es la mayor organización humanitaria del mundo, con 190 sociedades miembros. Siendo uno de los componentes del Movimiento Internacional de la Cruz Roja y de la Media Luna Roja, nuestra labor se rige por los siete principios fundamentales: humanidad, imparcialidad, neutralidad, independencia, voluntariado, unidad y universalidad.