Humanitarian Service Points

Humanitarian Service Points (HSPs) are safe, welcoming and strategically located spaces where migrants and displaced people can access reliable support from Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

What is a Humanitarian Service Point?

Humanitarian Service Points are neutral spaces where migrants can access a wide range of humanitarian support and services, regardless of their migration status and wherever they are on their journeys.

They are important because people on the move often face many challenges accessing help or finding safety during their journeys. 

At Humanitarian Service Points, Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies provide humanitarian assistance based solely on the principle of humanity and independently of government and other influence. They can also safely refer migrants to more specialized assistance if they require support with more complex needs.

We operate more than 600 HSPs around the world. They are the main way that the IFRC and our Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies help people on the move in both emergency and non-emergency settings. And they are a key part of our Global Route-Based Migration Programme and Programmatic Partnership.

What services do they provide?

A Honduran Red Cross volunteer provides first aid to an injured woman in San Pedro Sula who is migrating northwards in search of a better life.

A Honduran Red Cross volunteer provides first aid to an injured woman in San Pedro Sula who is migrating northwards in search of a better life.

Photo: Honduran Red Cross

Services and activities at each Humanitarian Service Point differ depending on the context, but can include:

  • Offering a clean and safe place to rest, sometimes including hot meals or snacks, showers, and even spaces to nap or sleep
  • Providing accurate and trusted information in multiple languages
  • Restoring Family Links (RFL) services to help people reunite with or contact their loved ones
  • Basic health services and psychological first aid
  • Safe referrals for a range of other assistance when it's available, for instance: shelter, physical and mental healthcare, safe housing and other specialist care and support

Case studies from new global review: HSPs in Action

A member of an Argentine Red Cross HSP team helps a migrant get in touch with family.

Argentina: Red Cross teams on the road

Volunteers with Niger Red Cross offer a wide range of services to migrants at Humanitarian Service Points.

Niger: Taking care to the people

In Slovakia, Red Cross teams provide important assistance to refugees coming from Ukraine.

Slovakia: An open door and open arms

More examples of HSPs

A woman on the move with her son climb into a mobile Humanitarian Service Point vehicle operated by the Panamanian Red Cross in San Vicente, Darién to receive medical attention following a gruelling walk through the Darien Gap in search of a better life.

Darién Gap

A rescue worker aboard the Ocean Viking rescue ship holds a five month old baby, one of 247 people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea in February 2022 as part of a joint operation by SOS MEDITERRANEE and the IFRC

Central Mediterranean

A woman fleeing conflict in Ukraine speaks to Hungarian Red Cross volunteers at a Humanitarian Service Point they'd set up in Keleti train station to welcome people arriving from Ukraine and provide support.

Ukraine crisis


Watch: Videos about HSPs

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