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The Movement

The International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement

Australian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement (the International Movement) with millions of members and volunteers operating in over 188 countries. The three components of the International Movement are the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), 188 Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies, and the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Our Movement's mission is to prevent or reduce human suffering, wherever it is found. Our Fundamental Principles guide us in this mission.

Components of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement »

National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies

National Societies embody the work and principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in 188 countries. National Societies act as auxiliaries to the public authorities of their own countries in the humanitarian field and provide a range of services including disaster relief, health and social programs. During wartime, National Societies assist affected civilian populations and support army medical services where appropriate.

A directory of all Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies' websites »

International Committee of the Red Cross

The ICRC is an impartial, neutral and independent organisation whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance.

The ICRC promotes the importance of international humanitarian law and draws attention to universal humanitarian principles.

As the custodian of the Geneva Conventions, the ICRC has a permanent mandate under international law to visit prisons, organise relief operations, reunite separated families and undertake other humanitarian activities during armed conflicts.

International Committee of the Red Cross website »

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

The Federation is a global humanitarian organisation, which coordinates and directs international assistance following natural and man-made disasters in non-conflict situations. The Federation provides support and policy guidance to the 188 Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies that are members of the International Movement.

 Its relief operations are combined with development work, including disaster preparedness programs, health and care activities, and the promotion of humanitarian values. In particular, it supports programs on risk reduction and fighting the spread of diseases, such as HIV, tuberculosis, avian influenza and malaria.

The organisation also works to combat discrimination and violence, and assistance for migrants.

International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies website »



Photos: Talia Frenkel/American Red Cross (Haiti); Olivier Matthys/IFRC (Pakistan); IFRC (Fiji).

The emblems

red cross, red crescent and red crystal

These emblems protect lives: the red cross, red crescent and red crystal. Read more »