Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a committee of Swiss nationals and probably will be so as long as the ICRC exists. Since a couple of years ago service of individuals from other countries as delegates to lead or participate in abroad missions conducted by the ICRC has been allowed. Previously, serving as a delegate was also restricted to Swiss citizens but the need for delegates by far exceeds the number of Swiss people who are willing to go on such a mission. The committee appoints new members to itself to replace those who resign or die, and the maximum number of members is 25. They lead the international Red Cross movement (often simply known after its symbol, the Red Cross), and has special responsibilities under international humanitarian law. Its key responsibility is to maintain support and respect for international humanitarian law, which serves to protect the victims of armed conflict. Its formation was first mandated by the First Geneva Convention.
The ICRC must be distinguished from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRCS). The ICRC leads the international Red Cross movement, wheras the IFRCS is the composed body of all national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.
The ICRC is one of the few examples of non-state subjects of international law. This status has to be distinguished from the ICRC being an association under Swiss law, and is independent from that.
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