Commentary on the Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem (Protocol III)

31-03-2007 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 865, by Jean-François Quéguiner


Jean-François Quéguiner
is legal Adviser in the Legal Division of the ICRC. This Commentary reflects the views of the author, and not necessarily those of the ICRC. It has been drafted with the participation of Anne Ryniker (ICRC). 


The emblems of the red cross and red crescent on a white ground have been used since the nineteenth century as universal symbols of assistance to victims of armed conflicts and natural disasters. While a detailed account of their long history is beyond the scope of this commentary, it is useful to recall some significant moments in an effort to understand the reasons behind the adoption on 8 December 2005 of an additional emblem – the red crystal.


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