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Creu Roja
The Movement

The International Movement of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world's largest humanitarian network to which are linked more than 120 million people in 186 countries. Neutral and impartial, the Movement provides protection and assistance to people affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts and collaborates with governments, donors and other organizations to assist vulnerable groups around the world.

The International Movement is formed by three entities:International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (FICRMLR)
National Societies


Emblems of the Red Cross  

Emblemes de la Creu Roja

The red cross

The red cross symbol corresponds to the inverted Swiss flag, as this was the nationality of the founder of the institution humanitarian, Henry Dunant. The Red Cross was recognized as the official emblem of the institution in 1864.

The red crescent

In 1876, Turkey and Russia started a war and Muslim soldiers considered that the red cross was a religious symbol, and therefore refused to be attended by the emergency services. For this reason, the Turkish government requested to use the red crescent, which was later recognized as the official emblem of the institution in Muslim countries.

The red crystal

The red crystal is the latest emblem of the Red Cross, and is officially recognized since December 2005 by the Third Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions.  III Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions. It was created for the need to provide protection to the institution in those social and political contexts in which neither the cross nor the crescent ensure their neutrality, and can be used both empty and with an element inside.

The case of the Magen David Adoma Society of Israel

This emblem has facilitated the integration to the International Movement of the institution of the National Societies with difficulties to use the cross or the red crescent, as the Magen David Adoma Society of Israel. Since 1930, this Society used the Star of David in his country, an option that was officially recognized in 2005. However, outside their country, the Star of David must be used inside the Red Crystal, or just the red crystal.


Areas of decision-making of the International Movement

The different compontents of the International Movement of the humanitarian institution are coordinated through the following organizations:

  1. International Conference of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent
    It is the highest deliberative authority of the Movement and offers the opportunity to analyze priorities abd international challenges. It takes place once every four years, and the Estates Part of the Ginebra Conventions ara represented there as well.
  2. Standing Comission
    It is the leader organ of the International Conference and it functions are:
    • Providing strategic direction to the Movement during the period between one International Conference and the next one. 
    • Promoting coordination among the components of the Movement.
    • To help implementating the resolutions of the Conference 
    • Examining the questions that are competence of the Movement in its entirety.
  3. Council of Delegates
    It is the organ that brings together representatives of all them components of the Movement every two years. In these meetins, questions related rto the intitution's politics and other matters of common interest to the Movement are dicussed. It also presents suggestions to the post of president, vice presidents and secretaries, and also decides the order in which the International Conference's subjects have to be examinated.
  4. General Assembly of the IFRC
    The International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent (IFRC) has a General assembly in which every National Society has a vote. This assembly sets the general policy of action of the institution and choses the components of the other statuary organs.

Statutes of the International Movement of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent

The relationships between these institutions and organizations are defined in the Statutes of the International Movement of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent. The Seville Agreement, approved by the Council of Delegates on 1997, also explains in detail the functions of each component of the Movement.


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