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The Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

Seven Fundamental Principles unite the components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. They guide PRCS and enable it to perform its humanitarian, health and social mission in the oPt and the diaspora. Strict adherence to these principles contributes to the provision of unbiased and effective assistance to those in need.



The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavors – in its international and national capacities – to prevent and alleviate suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for every human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.



The Movement makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavors to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.



In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.



The Movement is independent. The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement.


Voluntary Service

The Movement is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.



There can be only one Red Cross or one Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry out its humanitarian work throughout its territory.



The Movement, in which all National Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.