The ICRC – 150 years of humanitarian action around the world

150 years ago an inspired vision of a Swiss businessman became a reality with the establishment of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Relief Societies, known today as the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Shortly afterwards, the first international treaty of modern humanitarian law was adopted. To mark these and other cornerstones the ICRC is engaging in a global conversation about today’s humanitarian challenges. Since its creation in Geneva in 1863, the ICRC’s sole objective has been to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and strife. The constantly changing nature of war and other violence has continually thrown up new challenges for humanitarian action ensuring that over time the scope of the ICRC’s work has also grown.This photo exhibition is to celebrate, reflect and learn from our 150-year long journey in this challenging and constantly evolving world of humanitarian action. Covering the expanse of a century and a half of humanitarian action, a majority of the images here portray the ICRC’s activities globally – responding to the needs of people suffering from man-made and natural disasters. Others bring back memories of specific historical moments from the ICRC’s assistance work and its presence in India at the time of the First and Second World Wars, the India-Pakistan conflicts of 1947-48, 1965, 1971 and other major events in the region.