The Red Cross is a medical symbol, right? Can it be used by, say, any pharmacy?Natalka Panchyshyn
No. The Red Cross on a white background was chosen by the founders of the International Committee for the Relief of Wounded Soldiers at the Geneva Conference in October 1863 as a symbol to be worn on doctors’ armbands on the battlefield and ensure their neutral status.
Therefore, the Red Cross had a protective function from the beginning. But by analogy with field physicians, it was quickly used by other medical and paramedical institutions not only on the fronts of the war but also in the rear, up to pharmacies and other stores. However, such an expanded interpretation of the Red Cross as a mere medical symbol contradicted the position of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which insisted and insists that the Red Cross symbol (as well as the Red Crescent and the Red Crystal) should be used solely to protect human beings. from any military attack, and any other application, including commercial, undermines this single function of the Red Cross emblem.
These views are reflected in the Geneva Conventions and national legislation. Including the Ukrainian: Law of Ukraine “On the Symbols of the Red Cross, Red Crescent, Red Crystal in Ukraine” and the Criminal Code of Ukraine. These documents prohibit any misuse of the Red Cross emblem. This applies, inter alia, to medical facilities that do not belong to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and are not at risk of military attack. Emergency medical services, pharmacies, medical centres, etc. can instead use genuine medical symbols specifically designed for their needs: a blue “star of life” (link to the image), a green cross with a caduceus (link to the image), and so on.
If you notice on a building, vehicle, person, etc. that does not belong to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the use of the Red Cross, Red Crescent or Red Crystal emblem is clearly illegal, please send an email to: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the official page on the social network – https://www.facebook.com/RedCrossUkraine/