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New ICRC website in Portuguese

02-07-2004 News Release 04/81

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has just launched a Portuguese-language version of its website. By going to and clicking on “Português”, visitors to the site can find out about the ICRC’s operations in almost 80 countries and can consult on line some of the main treaties, conventions and protocols that make up international humanitarian law, which governs the conduct of armed conflict and protects individuals not – or no longer – taking part in hostilities.

The organization already has versions of its website in English, Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish. The Portuguese version was produced by the ICRC’s Communication Support Centre for Latin America, in Buenos Aires, and its office in Brasilia. The site is intended to provide valuable support for lawyers, politicians, military personnel, students, journalists and the ICRC’s other traditional contacts in the world’s eight Portuguese-speaking countries who are interested in issues of humanitarian concern, humanitarian action and the applicable international rules.

The ICRC has been present since 1991 in Brazil, where its work has focused mainly on spreading knowledge of humanitarian law among the armed forces as well as human rights rules and humanitarian principles among the military police in all the country’s states. The ICRC also supports the Brazilian authorities in their efforts to ensure that country’s adoption of international legal standards and discusses the content of these rules in the main media and in academic circles.

The Portuguese-speaking country in which the ICRC has its most extensive operations is Angola, where the organization has been working since 1975 and currently has some 370 Angolan and expatriate staff. Its main activities there are tracing people reported missing in connection with the conflict and restoring links between family members still separated by the fighting, which ended in 2002. (Nearly 13,000 people have since asked the ICRC and the Angolan Red Cross for help in tracing missing relatives.) The organization also works to raise awareness among the population of the dang ers of landmines, which are still scattered throughout various areas of the country, and it runs a number of limb-fitting and rehabilitation programmes for people who have been disabled by those deadly devices.

 For further information, please contact:  

 João Paulo Charleaux, ICRC Brazil, tel. +5561 248 02 50  

 Fernando Vega, ICRC Buenos Aires, tel. +5411 45 15 11 18  

 Annick Bouvier, ICRC Geneva, tel. +4122 730 2458