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National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as auxiliaries to the public authorities in the humanitarian field: conclusions from the study undertaken by theInternational Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

06-12-2003 Report

Document prepared by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in consultation with the International Committee of the Red Cross, 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 2 to 6 December 2003

 Summary of the Report  

The study on the auxiliary role of National Societies in the humanitarian field is in follow-up by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to the Plan of Action of the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (Geneva, 1999) and the Strategy for the Movement adopted by the Council of Delegates in 2001.

The Plan of Action, (final goal 3.3, Action 15) called for:

" an in-depth study into the working relationship between States and National Societies, taking into account the changing needs in the humanitarian, health and social fields, the auxiliary role of National Societies and the evolving role of the State, the private sector and voluntary organizations in service provision " .

The study:

  • analyzes how the environment for humanitarian action, on the one hand, and the concept of auxiliary status on the other hand, have evolved over the years;

  • reviews several aspects of the relationship between Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies and States, in particular the interactions related to the functioning of the National Society and those related to the activities of the National Soci ety;

  • examines how a number of existing texts, including the Statutes of the Movement, Geneva Conventions and various texts adopted by the relevant bodies of the Movement and the Federation, affect the relationship between States and National Societies;

  • aims at better defining the concept of auxiliary to the public authorities in the humanitarian field, because, over the years, the initial scope of the concept (related to the relief to wounded and sick soldiers on the battlefield) has blurred, thus affecting the universality of the concept;

  • provides practical guidance to National Societies and States in order to help ensure their mutually beneficial relations.

The conclusions of the study, reproduced below, constitute an official document submitted to the 28th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The complete study, will be available from the International Federation, at the Conference.

 

 
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