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The ICRC: a unique humanitarian protagonist

31-03-2007 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 865, by David P. Forsythe

The International Committee of the Red Cross, as a unique and respected humanitarian actor, has changed considerably since the 1970s. It has carved out an enduring place for neutral humanitarianism in conflicts, but one that is not free from controversies and challenges.

   

David P. Forsythe
is Charles J. Mach Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

 
Abstract 
The International Committee of the Red Cross, associated with four Nobel Peace Prizes, is a unique and widely respected humanitarian actor. There were times in its past, however, when it was not as independent, neutral and impartial as is sometimes pictured. Since about 1970 it has made important changes in its structure and functioning so as to improve on the past. In contemporary times the ICRC has carved out an enduring place for neutral humanitarianism in conflicts, but one that is not free from controversies and challenges.  

   
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