The ICRC regional delegation in New Delhi
The ICRC worked in India at the time of partition (1947-48) and in the ensuing conflicts between India and Pakistan (1965, 1971). A Regional Delegation was established in New Delhi in 1982, today covering India, Bhutan and Maldives. Its main focus is on visiting detainees held in Jammu and Kashmir and in Bhutan, assisting civilians affected by violence in various parts of India and promoting international humanitarian law (IHL). The ICRC supports the activities of the Indian Red Cross and Maldivian Red Crescent Societies.
The ICRC supports the humanitarian activities of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), such as emergency response, first aid, livelihood support and community health programmes. The ICRC strengthens the operational capacity of local IRCS branches in States affected by emergencies to help them provide the appropriate humanitarian response. It promotes Red Cross/Red Crescent principles and respect for the emblems and advocates in favour of neutral and independent humanitarian action. It also supports the Family News Service of the IRCS, which seeks to trace and reunite family members separated because of migration, displacement and disasters. The ICRC offers its support and expertise to India’s National Disaster Management Authority, concerning the management of dead bodies during natural and man-made disasters.
The ICRC assists in medical and health programmes, as well as safe water and sanitation projects in Assam, Nagaland and Chhattisgarh. A team of ICRC doctors and nurses supports the Primary Health Centre of Kutru, in Bijapur district, Chhattisgarh. Community workers increase awareness of hygiene among local communities in Bijapur district. The ICRC also supports the IRCS and the Ministry of Health in physical rehabilitation activities run by a district rehabilitation centre in Dimapur, Nagaland. It also maintains one physical rehabilitation programme in Jammu and Kashmir, and supports one centre in the city of Raipur/Chhattisgarh.
In the Maldives, the ICRC visits detainees and provides support and expertise to the Maldivian detention authorities. Since 2004, the ICRC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Maldivian Red Crescent have enjoyed constructive dialogue and cooperation, working together in the aftermath of the tsunami. Following the full recognition of the Maldivian Red Crescent during the 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 2011, the ICRC continues to work closely with the Maldivian Red Crescent, mostly in the areas of disaster preparedness, first aid and support for health-care facilities.
In promoting knowledge of IHL, the ICRC organizes workshops, seminars, conferences and teaching sessions for important partners such as government officials, the armed and security forces, the judiciary, journalists, academics, medical personnel, NGOs and other members of the civil society. It works with relevant government authorities at the highest levels to have IHL treaties adopted and incorporated into national legislation, to establish national IHL mechanisms and to apply these norms in practice.