The ICRC regional delegation in Brasilia

15-07-2013 Overview

The ICRC’s regional delegation for Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay has been fulfilling its humanitarian mission since the 1970s.

From its headquarters in Brasilia it works to meet the needs of people affected by violent situations linked to social and agrarian issues, and in urban settings. It visits detainees, promotes International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and supports the security forces in adapting their procedures to international human rights standards. The ICRC also helps to build up the response capacity of the National Red Cross Societies in the region, and it works together with State institutions in developing forensic skills for improving the identification of human remains.

A variety of humanitarian activities are carried out in association with the National Red Cross Society in each country. The ICRC contributes both financial support and its own experience to enable the National Societies to work safely in other situations of violence. In addition, it trains volunteers in first aid, stress management and physical and mental health care for vulnerable communities, and it provides support for Restoring Family Links services.


The ICRC also promotes humanitarian principles and respect for human dignity in communities affected by other situations of violence.
ICRC delegates regularly visit people deprived of their freedom in detention centres, with the aim of ensuring that the physical and mental conditions of their detention, and their treatment, comply with the fundamental rules protecting personal integrity. This work prioritizes the facilitation of contact between the detainees and their families, and intervention with the authorities to improve detainees’ access to appropriate health care.

In countries with investigations into the disappearance of people in armed conflicts and other situations of violence, the ICRC also provides technical advice and support for the development of forensic skills.

Dissemination of the law

In these five countries the ICRC supports and provides legal advice for national authorities in the ratification and implementation of IHL treaties and the rules on the protection of individuals that are applicable in armed conflict and other situations of violence. The regional delegation works with the armed forces on integrating IHL into doctrine, training and operations. The ICRC also supports the dissemination of IHL and humanitarian principles among States, the armed forces, academic circles and institutions both public and private.

In training the civil and military police in the application of the international law on human rights in the use of force, the ICRC promotes the integration and exchange of practice and experience between the police forces of the five countries in the region.

The regional delegation also conducts activities aimed at reducing the consequences of other situations of violence in urban settings, and it supports access to health care, mental health care, community first-aid courses and Safer Access training, in addition to disseminating humanitarian principles among communities.



Cidade de Deus, west of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. First aid course.
© ICRC / P. Santos / br-e-00048


Buen Pastor Women's Prison, Asunción, Paraguay. An inmate talks to an ICRC delegate.
© ICRC / A. Dos Santos / py-e-00034


Tirúa, Bío-Bío, Chile. An earthquake survivor contacts her son in Cañete using an ICRC satphone.
© ICRC / D. Rojas / cl-e-00020