Today marks the 50th anniversary of our fundamental principles as part of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Proclaimed in Vienna in 1965, the seven fundamental principles are an expression of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s practices and values. They unite the Movement in 189 countries and are the basis of our decisions and actions. They have proved vital for the Movement in both times of crisis and peace.
Humanity defines our main purpose; the core of the Red Cross Red Crescent mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering by protecting life and health, and ensuring respect for human beings.
Impartiality means the Red Cross and Red Crescent’s assistance is based solely on needs, regardless of any other characteristics such as race, religion, status and nationality.
The Red Cross Red Crescent remains neutral at all times. This means that we do not take sides in hostilities and abstain from engaging in controversies, for the sake of trust and acceptance.
Independence means that National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are autonomous from national governments to ensure they are able to always act based on humanitarian imperatives.
The International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is rooted in voluntary service; volunteers and staff are the face of the Movement among the communities we serve, rendering selfless and disinterested service, motivated by humanity only.
Unity means National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies work in every corner of their country. This ensures they keep the confidence of every community and keep providing vital services according to local needs.
Covering 189 countries, the Red Cross and Red Crescent is a universal Movement which is able to maximize the power of a global network to direct assistance to where the needs are the most acute.