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Australia: New photo exhibition celebrates 150 years of humanitarian action

26-06-2013 News Release 13/114

Canberra (ICRC) – A special photographic exhibition marking 150 years of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement will open today at the High Court of Australia.

"150 years of humanitarian action: the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from 1863 to 2013," a moving compilation of 40 historic and contemporary images from the ICRC’s photographers in the field, will remain on display until 27 July. The exhibition spans the Spanish-American War of 1898, and the two world wars of the twentieth century, through to the recent conflicts in Sierra Leone, Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria, among others.

"Through the lens of ICRC photographers past and present, the collection charts the changing nature of war and the evolving challenges faced by the ICRC since its founding in 1863," said Leonard Blazeby, who heads the organization's mission in Australia. "The photos offer an insight into humanitarian action with themes such as war surgery and health care, family reunion and assistance for detainees."

As the founding component of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the ICRC works to provide humanitarian help for people adversely affected by armed conflict and other violence, and to promote the laws that protect victims of war.

"The ICRC is one of the Australian government's most highly valued and effective partners in humanitarian action," said Richard Rowe, senior legal adviser at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. "This exhibition is an inspiring reminder of the vital contribution generations of members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement have made in delivering humanitarian assistance to, and strengthening the protection of, vulnerable people in armed conflict and other situations of humanitarian concern around the world."

Today, the ICRC performs humanitarian tasks in 92 countries worldwide, and has a workforce of almost 13,000 individuals of 146 different nationalities.

For further information, please contact:
Andrea Lunt ICRC Canberra, tel: +61 2 6273 2968 or +61 418 485 120