The ICRC Regional Delegation in New Delhi
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) launched its first humanitarian mission in the Indian sub-continent in 1917 during World War I. Subsequently, the ICRC worked in India at the time of Partition (1947-1948) and in the conflicts between India and Pakistan in 1965 and 1971. A regional delegation was established in New Delhi in 1982. At present it covers India, Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal and supports other countries in South Asia with specific regional activities. The delegation carries out varied humanitarian activities, besides spreading awareness about International Humanitarian Law (IHL) among arms carriers and political authorities; it also works to support the activities of its partner, the Indian Red Cross Society.
In India, ICRC delegates visit people arrested in connection with the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, who are held both within the state and in other parts of India, to monitor their treatment and living conditions. Where necessary, the ICRC distributes basic items to detainees and their close relatives. We also help detainees to re-establish and maintain contact with their families.
The ICRC supports IRCS with physical rehabilitation activities and is running a physical rehabilitation programme in Jammu and Kashmir, and supporting a centre in the city of Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
Support for the Indian Red Cross Society
The ICRC supports the work of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), such as emergency response, first aid, livelihood support and community health, helping them respond appropriately in states affected by emergencies. We are promoting Red Cross/Red Crescent principles and respect for the emblems, together with neutral and independent humanitarian action. The ICRC also supports the Family News Service of the IRCS, which traces and reunites family members separated by migration, displacement or disaster. We offer our support and expertise to India’s National Disaster Management Authority concerning the management of dead bodies during natural and man-made disasters.
Support for the Maldivian Red Crescent
Since 2004, the ICRC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Maldivian Red Crescent have enjoyed constructive dialogue and cooperation, working together in the aftermath of the tsunami. The Maldivian Red Crescent obtained full recognition at the 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 2011, and the ICRC works closely with them, mostly in the areas of disaster preparedness, first aid and support for health facilities.
Promotion of IHL
To promote knowledge of IHL, the ICRC organizes workshops, seminars, conferences and teaching sessions for such partners as government officials, the armed and security forces, the judiciary, journalists, academics, medical personnel, NGOs and other members of civil society. We work with government authorities at the highest levels to have IHL treaties adopted and incorporated into national legislation, to establish national IHL mechanisms and to apply these norms in practice.