Symbols and emblem protection

Symbols of the International Movement and their protection

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement have three emblems: red cross, red crescent and red crystal. Each has a protected status as defined by international humanitarian law in the First Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Additional Protocol (III) to the Geneva Conventions, 2005. The emblems protect victims of armed conflict, medical services of the armed forces and members of humanitarian organizations and have no cultural, religious or political meaning.

Red Cross emblem is an image of a red cross on a white background. It is used as a symbol of protection during armed conflicts and a symbol of belonging to the International Movement during peacetime. Red crescent and red crystal are equivalent to the symbol of red cross.

All three emblems have the same status under International Humanitarian Law and the laws of the country in which they are used. The national society may use one of the three emblems indicating their activities.

“Ukrainian Red Cross Society has the exclusive right to use the emblem, flag, sign and name of the Red Cross provided by the Decree of the President of Ukraine of October 28, 1992 “On Ukrainian Red Cross Society”, the Law of Ukraine “On Symbols of the Red Cross, Red Crescent, Red Crystal in Ukraine” of July 8, 1999, the rules for use of the emblem of red cross and red crescent by 1991 by national societies, adopted by the XX International Conference (Vienna, 1965) and revised by the Council of Delegates (Budapest, 1991). Additional Protocol III of 8 December 2005 (Geneva, 2005), paragraph 2 of Resolution 1 of the XXIX International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent of 22 June 2006 and the Statute of the URCS for the purposes set by the International Conferences of the Red Cross and Red Crescent conventions of 1949…” (excerpt from the Statute of the URCS)

Each of the emblems has the protection status defined by the international humanitarian law in the First Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Third Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, 2005 and has no cultural, religious or political meaning.

Emblems are used for safety and identification purposes. An attack on a person, equipment or institution protected by the emblem constitutes a violation of the Geneva Conventions, and those who commit such an offense are criminally liable to a war crime.

In addition to the emblems, a logo can also be used, which is an emblem with the addition of individual text and/or visual elements. Unlike the emblem, the logo is used not for protection but for identification purposes: it means that certain people or objects that are related to national societies are also related to the activities of the International Movement. Ukrainian Red Cross Society has its own logo.

timeline_pre_loader
Emblems can be used for two purposes:

Safety. Emblems used as a protective sign during armed conflict. The main role is a well-known sign of protection of employees of humanitarian organizations, medical and spiritual personnel, as well as vehicles. The sign of protection is granted by the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols.

Identification. Logos are emblems that indicate that they mark persons or objects associated with the Movement. In this case, the emblems must contain additional information (for example, the name of the national society) and should not be placed on armbands and on the roofs of buildings. This is done so that they are not confused with emblems used for security purposes. Each national society can use only one of the three emblems to indicate its affiliation with the International Movement. Ukrainian Red Cross Society uses the symbol of the red cross on a white background.

Any wrong use of emblems — imitation, treachery or misuse can weaken their protective function and seriously reduce the effectiveness of humanitarian aid.

The use of the symbols of the Movement by unauthorized institutions or persons (commercial firms, pharmacies, doctors) engaged in private practice, non-governmental organizations, individuals is strictly prohibited and provides for liability under national law.

Actions in case of violations witnessing

If you find violations of the legality of the use of the symbols of Ukrainian Red Cross, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, please let us know by sending an email to: national@redcross.org.ua, ihl@redcross.org.ua.

or by visiting the official page on the social media https://www.facebook.com/RedCrossUkraine/