The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance.
Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and contemporary international humanitarian law, which is a set of rules seeking, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict. It protects persons who are not or are no longer participating in the hostilities and restricts the means and methods of warfare. International humanitarian law is also known as the law of war or the law of armed conflict.
THE ICRC'S MISSION INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING TASKS:
• Visit to prisoners of war and civilian detainees
• Search for missing persons
• Transmit messages between family members separated by conflict
• Reunify dispersed families
• Provide food, water & medical assistance to civilians in need
• Spread the knowledge of international humanitarian law (IHL)
• Monitor compliance with that law
• Draw attention to violations and contributing to the development of IHL
With its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the ICRC is based in around 85 countries. It employs about 2’100 mobile field and over 12,500 resident staff in the different countries with ICRC missions. About 1’000 people provide essential support and back-up to the field operations from its headquarters in Geneva.
The ICRC's budget for 2016 amounts to more than 1.7 billion Swiss francs.