The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland, and a three-time Nobel Prize Laureate. State parties (signatories) to the Geneva Convention of 1949 and its Additional Protocols of 1977 (Protocol I, Protocol II) and 2005 have given the ICRC a mandate to protect victims of international and internal armed conflicts.
Such victims include war wounded, prisoners, refugees, civilians, and other non-combatants.
The ICRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement along with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and 192 National Societies.
It is the oldest and most honoured organization within the movement and one of the most widely recognized organizations in the world, having won three Nobel Peace Prizes in 1917, 1944, and 1963.
Its mission is to alleviate human suffering, protect life and health, and uphold human dignity, especially during armed conflicts and other emergencies. It is present in every country and supported by millions of volunteers.
Since its creation in 1863, the ICRC’s sole objective has been to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and strife.
It does so through its direct action around the world, as well as by encouraging the development of international humanitarian law (IHL) and promoting respect for it by governments and all weapon bearers.
Its story is about the development of humanitarian action, the Geneva Conventions and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.