Inclusion, protection and engagement

At the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), we believe that diversity is a fact, inclusion is an act. Through all of our work, we aim to protect and promote a positive change for humanity, based on our humanitarian values and Fundamental Principles.

Our Inclusion, Protection and Engagement (IPE) unit supports our network to be more inclusive and diverse. It helps us keep people safe and promote human dignity throughout all of our institutions, programmes and operations. Our goal is that no one is left behind, no one is left out and no one feels unsafe in all that we do.

The world in the 21st century is changing rapidly and becoming more fragile. Some communities are becoming more and more divided and many people continue to be marginalized or neglected. The benefits of economic and technological progress are not being shared equally. And space for principled humanitarian action is shrinking.

Yet, around the world, there are also many people who want to make their lives, their communities, and their world better. We want to support them, and help others be more inclusive, empathetic, compassionate and connected.

How are we responding?

As set out in our Strategy 2030, this decade the IFRC is committed to ensuring that people mobilize for inclusive and peaceful communities.

As such we will expand our education outreach and humanitarian education programmes. We will focus on humanitarian values and teaching our fundamental principles, as well as improving access for people whose education has been disrupted by war, disaster or displacement.

We will focus on projects that promote inclusion, participation and diversity in programmes, opportunities, representation, and decision-making—both within our network and in society. This involves making sure our work responds to the many different aspects that make up people’s identities and to the different vulnerabilities that arise as a consequence.

And we will support young people to be leaders of change who are meaningfully engaged to contribute towards making their local communities more peaceful, inclusive and resilient.

Explore our work

A girl attends a hygiene promotion exercise taught by the Philippine Red Cross in Baganga in 2013

Protection, gender and inclusion

For the IFRC to remain true to our principles, our work must provide dignity, access, participation and safety for all people in a non-discriminatory and equitable way.

Children in a school in Leyte, Philippines smile and learn during class. Following Typhoon Haiyan, the American Red Cross repaired badly damaged classrooms, constructed new latrines and installed hand water pumps to help them resume their education


Education is a fundamental human right and an essential public service. We work to ensure that all people have safe and equitable access to quality, inclusive education.

متطوعون شباب من الصليب الأحمر البلغاري يقومون بأنشطة وألعاب ممتعة للأطفال اللاجئين من سوريا، الذين يعيشون في مراكز إيواء في بلغاريا

Youth engagement

Our aim is that young people around the world do more, do better and reach further—all while contributing to safe and resilient communities.

Watch: our IPE work in action

Organizational learning

An illustration which shows the final stage of the IFRC's Learn to Change journey in 2019

An illustration which shows the final stage of the IFRC's Learn to Change journey in 2019

Photo: IFRC

Our work in inclusion, protection and engagement also includes supporting the IFRC to continuously learn, adapt and evolve so that we can meet the aims outlined in Strategy 2030. This involves asking our network questions like "What do we want to keep doing?""What do we need to change?" and "How can we better understand and connect with each other?

In 2018 we set up our Learn to Change initiative to help our network have these conversations as fluidly and openly as possible. The initiative aims to develop a culture of learning and collaboration, supporting our volunteers, staff and leaders to navigate the biggest and emerging humanitarian challenges of our time.

Our Global Volunteering Alliance brings together over 70 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to discuss current volunteer trends and the future of volunteerism in a changing world.

We also run an active Learning Network group on Facebook where 7,000+ members promote, share and discuss learning initiatives and experiences.