Principles and values



All components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – i.e. the International Committee of Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, National Societies – are guided by the same principles in their activities.


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. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all nations.


International Movement 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.


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


The Movement is independent. The National Societies, while assisting in the humanitarian services to their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy to be able to act anytime in accordance with the principles of the Movement.

Voluntary Service

In its voluntary relief, the International Movement is not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.


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


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.