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The ICRC regional delegation in Caracas

01-06-2011 Overview

The Caracas regional delegation covers Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. Focus: promoting IHL among armed forces and police, detainees and cooperation with National Societies.

The Caracas regional delegation was established in 1971. It focuses on promoting the incorporation of international humanitarian law (IHL) into national legislation, into the operational procedures and training of the region's armed forces and into the curricula of academic institutions, and on the inclusion of human rights standards in police manuals and training. It helps boost the capacity of the region's Red Cross societies to promote IHL, restore family links, respond to emergencies and help the victims of violence. The delegation also visits security detainees and monitors the humanitarian situation along the Venezuelan/Colombian border.

The ICRC regional delegation has a formal relationship with Venezuela based on a headquarters agreement that came into force in 2001. Over the years, it has developed a dialogue with high-ranking members of the armed forces and of the national police, as well as with staff in the Office of the President and in various ministries, including those of Foreign Affairs and Defence. The ICRC seeks to have IHL integrated into training, army manuals, and military and security operations.

Since the ICRC and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) secretariat signed a cooperation arrangement in 2007, the ICRC has been assisting CARICOM member states to promote and implement humanitarian norms and principles. This includes supporting these states in the ratification and implementation of major IHL treaties, and working with CARICOM sub-committees on legal affairs, national security and foreign affairs.

The ICRC holds regular IHL workshops in Venezuela and the CARICOM states for government officials and senior military and police officers. It seeks to explain its mission and activities as widely as possible in the region, both through the media and by addressing specific groups directly.

With the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the ICRC works to boost the capabilities of National Societies in the region. This includes help in revising statutes, support for efforts to restore family links and programmes to promote safer access for staff working in areas which have been, or could be, affected by situations of internal violence.

The ICRC visits and monitors a small number of detainees in Venezuela.

In Jamaica, the ICRC, in cooperation with the Jamaican Red Cross (JRC), ensured emergency assistance to people in Kingston affected by the violent events of May 2010. Since then, the ICRC has provided technical and financial support to the JRC to help set up a micro-economic programme aimed at helping especially vulnerable households which had been worst  affected by the events.


Photos

International humanitarian law workshop for the Bolivarian National Armed Force of Venezuela. 

International humanitarian law workshop for the Bolivarian National Armed Force of Venezuela.
© Guardia Nacional Bolivariana de Venezuela