The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the largest humanitarian Organization in the world, made up of nearly 100 million members, volunteers and supporters in 188 countries and their respective National Societies.
The main objective of the International RC/RC Movement is to prevent and alleviate human suffering, regardless of whom it affects or how it occurs. Therefore, the activities of the International RC/RC Movement are made up of a wide variety of services and activities, ranging from disaster relief to raising awareness and sensitizing the public towards different issues. The help provided differs from country to country, depending on their specific needs.
The three main components of the International RC/RC Movement are: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the 188 National Societies. Each component has its own legal identity and role, but they are all united by seven Fundamental Principles: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary service, Unity and Universality. Each component of the Movement is committed to respect and uphold these principles at all times.
Established in 1863, the ICRC is an impartial, independent and neutral organization, whose main objective is to provide humanitarian help for people affected by armed conflict and violence and to promote the respect for international humanitarian law and its implementation in national law.
The work of the ICRC is guided by its unique and permanent international mandate which derives from the 1949 Geneva Conventions and from the Statutes of the Movement which, among various activities, allows them to visit prisons, organize relief operations, reunite separated families and undertake other humanitarian activities during armed conflicts.
Since its foundation, the ICRC has played a humanitarian role in most of the conflicts that have taken place around the world. The outspoken neutrality and impartiality of the organization allows the ICRC to work on both sides in a conflict, and it is often the only organization allowed to operate in war-torn countries.
For more information about the ICRC, visit their webpage: www.icrc.org.
Founded in 1919, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) constitutes the world’s largest humanitarian and development network, with millions of volunteers in its 188 member National Societies. This global humanitarian organization provides assistance regardless of nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions.
The IFRC coordinates and directs international assistance following natural and man-made disasters in non-conflict situations. Its mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity.
The unique network of National Societies - which cover almost every country in the world - is the IFRC's principal strength. Cooperation between National Societies gives the IFRC greater potential to develop capacities and assist the most vulnerable. At local level, the network enables the IFRC to reach individual communities.
The IFRC carries out relief operations to assist victims of disasters, and combines this task with development work in order to strengthen the capacities of its member National Societies. The IFRC's work focuses on four core areas: promoting humanitarian values, disaster response, disaster preparedness, and health and community care.
In particular, it supports programmes on risk reduction and the fight against the spread of diseases, such as HIV, tuberculosis, avian influenza and malaria. The organization also works to combat discrimination and violence, and promote human rights and the assistance to migrants.
For more information about the IFRC, visit their webpage: www.ifrc.org.
With its 188 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world, this unique network forms the backbone of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Each National Society is made up of volunteers and staff, who provide a wide variety of services, ranging from disaster relief and assistance to the victims of war, to first aid training and restoring family links.
National Societies support the public authorities in their own countries as independent auxiliaries to the government in the humanitarian field. Their knowledge of the local environment combined with their expertise and their access to communities, as well as their organizational infrastructure, enable the Movement to carry out the help fast, and where ever it is needed.
Therefore, National Society volunteers are often the first on the scene when a disaster strikes and remain active within affected communities long after everyone else has come and gone.
The Mediterranean region has shown to be an area of special concerns, as shown by – among other issues - the humanitarian challenges of the massive migration that takes place on both shores of the Mediterranean. For this reason, since 1980 -and thereafter every four years - the Mediterranean Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent is held to discuss the challenges and needs facing this region.
Consisting of 26 National Societies of the Red Cross and Red Crescent that share historical or geographical ties with the region, the Mediterranean Conference aims to create a partnership between the Red Cross/Red Crescent National Societies of Europe, Middle East and Northern Africa, fostering cultural diversity as an asset in the bridging of new responses to face common challenges.
The mission of the Mediterranean Conference is to promote the Fundamental Principles of the Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, to facilitate the dissemination of International Humanitarian Law and to develop Peace, Cooperation, Understanding and Friendship between the Societies of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in the Mediterranean area, in the context of the Strategies of the International Federation.
In 2005 the Centre for the Co-operation in the Mediterranean (CCM) was established as the Permanent Office to provide the follow up on the resolutions of the Mediterranean Conference. By agreement of partner National Societies the Office is set in Barcelona and it relies upon the support of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan Government) and the Barcelona City Council, as well as on the collaboration of the Italian Red Cross, constantly working in close collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Apart from hosting the Permanent Office for the follow-up of the Conference, the mission of the CCM is to promote cooperation between the RC/RC National Societies in the Mediterranean region, as well as enhance their capacities through exchanges of experience and know-hows, which in turn contribute to the fulfilment of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s purposes: to inspire, encourage, facilitate and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by national Societies, with a view of preventing and alleviating human suffering, and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.
The issues regarded as priority areas by the last Conference held in Croatia in 2010, and on which the CCM focuses its activity, are: Migration; Youth; Environment and Climate Change; the social effects of the world economic crisis (envisaged in the wider context of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, as well as the Movement's Principles and Values). Amongst these, Youth was identified as playing a critical role for the present and future of the region and therefore the CCM has a Desk whose action exclusively focuses on youth-related activities.
One such activity, organized by the CCM Youth Desk, is the yearly Youth Camp 'Atlantis'. Established as a meeting point for the exchange of experiences between the youth of Mediterranean RC/RC National Societies, this camp has proven to be a very important and successful activity towards the promotion of a culture of respect and understanding amongst the Mediterranean Youth. The purpose of Atlantis is not only to allow young volunteers to meet and share experiences and knowledge, but also to build their capacity to be dynamic models of change within their National Societies.
As you can read in the current Plan of Action of the CCM (2011-2014), various activities are undertaken including technical meetings, seminars and trainings in order to provide a follow up on the Mediterranean Conference main concerns regarding migrations and population movements; environment; youth; RC/RC principles and values; UN Millennium Development Goals (the fight against poverty, access to healthcare and water, disaster risk reduction, etc).
Through the above mentioned activities CCM has been able to reach and develop the fundamental strands of its mission by providing not only the follow up of the Mediterranean Conference but also the enhancement of the exchange of best practices and humanitarian diplomacy in an intercultural environment, based on common humanitarian concerns. All initiatives encompassed cross-cutting elements referring to intercultural dialogue and social inclusion, and aimed at raising awareness on current Mediterranean challenges both at local and international level.
In order to promote and disseminate the activities carried out by the CCM concerning the resolutions of the Mediterranean Conference , the Centre has developed a website (www.cruzroja.es/ccm), a Facebook profile, a YouTube channel and it regularly publishes a Newsletter, sent to all National Societies as well as national and international institutions in 4 languages (Spanish, English, French, Arabic).
@2011 Med Youth Portal Center for the Cooperation of the Mediterranean