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37 EDSA corner Boni Avenue,mandaluyong City 1550 | Hotline: 143 | Trunkline +63 2 790 2300
  • INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW

FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF THE RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT MOVEMENT

HUMANITY


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

IMPARTIALITY


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

NEUTRALITY


In order 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.

INDEPENDENCE


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


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

UNITY


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

UNIVERSALITY


The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.

INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW


The International Humanitarian Law Office is mainly responsible for the advocacy, promotion and dissemination of the seven fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, dissemination of the basics of IHL, and the advocacy of domestic legislation and measures to implement provisions of the Geneva Conventions.

The Seven Fundamental Principles:

  1. Humanity
  2. Impartiality
  3. Neutrality
  4. Independence
  5. Voluntary Service
  6. Unity
  7. Universality

Activities:

  1. Dissemination and Capacity Building



The IHL Office regularly conducts orientation sessions about the Red Cross Movement, its fundamental principles and activities, and the basics of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Regular dissemination/orientation session normally runs for two to three hours and is held usually in the classroom setting as it involves film showing and multi-media presentations. Priority audiences  are: Red Cross personnel , community leaders and health workers, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police personnel and its auxiliaries.

  1. Advocacy and Promotion
  2. Among the activities of the IHL Office is the advocacy of domestic legislation and measures to implement provisions of the Geneva Conventions.

The IHL Office, in cooperation with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and various stakeholders of IHL, successfully lobbied the domestic legislation on IHL: Republic Act 9851 (Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity), which was signed into law in December 2009. Another milestone in the field of IHL is the signing of RA 10530 also known as the Red Cross and Other Emblems Act of 2013. First filed in the Senate by Senator Richard J. Gordon during the 13th Congress, the bill was finally signed into law last May 7, 2013.

As part of advocacy and promotion and with the issuance of Executive Order 134 declaring every August 12 as IHL Day, PRC took a step further by designating the month of August as IHL Month. The IHL Office organizes and monitors various activities and events organized in different PRC chapters nationwide in collaboration with other agencies who are members of the National IHL Committee.

  1. National Moot Court Competition on IHL

An annual event held every last quarter of the year, the National Moot Court Competition on IHL is organized jointly by PRC, ICRC, and Supreme Court of the Philippines. The IHL Office serves as the overall coordinator and secretariat of the event. The competition aims to provide a venue for law students to become acquainted with and proficient in IHL issues. The competition is based on a hypothetical war problem leading to a charge of war crimes against the military commander. The participants are tasked to write memorials and orally argue both for the prosecution and the defense using the different laws and principles of IHL.

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Philippine Red Cross

37 EDSA corner Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Hotline: 143
Trunkline +63 2 790 2300
Email: communication@redcross.org.ph
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