Access to information and accountability

Access to information and accountability

The ICRC is committed to transparency and accountability. We have created a comprehensive framework of policies, guidelines and strategies to ensure our management practices are sound and our Fundamental Principles and values are respected. They are set out below.
Article 23 April 2019

Access to Information Policy

As an organization, we are committed to being as transparent as possible about how we work. Access to information is key to public awareness and understanding of what we do. You can access here the list of reference documents that are made public. If you have an information request, please email

Please click here to learn more about what information is available to the public.


Code of conduct

The Code of Conduct, signed by all ICRC staff, reflects our commitment to meeting high ethical standards in all our activities. The code makes clear what values and rules all ICRC staff share and uphold in their daily work. Please click here to learn more about the Code of Conduct. 

Reporting misconduct

The Global Compliance Office investigates allegations of misconduct and advises senior management. Anyone concerned by potential misconduct – whether working for the ICRC or not – can contact the office. Please click here to learn more about reporting misconduct.

Access to the ICRC's archives

The ICRC has kept archives ever since the organization was founded in 1863. They provide an enduring and unique record of the history of our activities and of the victims of armed conflict and other violence whom we have helped. Given the exceptional value of these documents, and in the interest of transparency, we have been opening our documents up to the general public since 1996. However, given the sensitive nature of our work, general files are made available only after 50 years have elapsed since they were created (and particularly sensitive ones after 70). Please click here to learn more about the ICRC's archives.

Ethical Principles guiding the ICRC's Partnerships with the Private Sector

The aim of these principles is to establish a transparent framework for relationships between the private sector and the ICRC. Please click here to learn more about the ethical principles guiding the ICRC's partnerships with the private sector. 

Privacy Policy

There are instances where the ICRC's website requests information that identifies you personally so as to provide you with specific services. Please note that information that you provide in this way will not be shared with any third party except where necessary to provide a service that has been requested. Please click here to learn more about the Privacy policy.

Security of Information

Handling information safely and efficiently enables us to protect people affected by armed conflict, our staff, partners and other parties involved, more effectively. Information management and information security are indispensable for ensuring that our activities are relevant, we are accountable for what we do, and we can act as a trusted manager of sensitive information. Please click here to learn more about the security of information

Data Protection Rules

Safeguarding the personal data of individuals, particularly in testing conditions, such as in conflict zones, is an essential aspect of protecting people's lives, dignity and physical and mental well-being – which makes it a matter of fundamental importance for the ICRC. Please click here to learn more about data protection at the ICRC. 


The health and well-being of our beneficiaries and local communities in countries in which we operate is intrinsically linked to the state of the natural environment. That is why we strive to incorporate sustainability into all ICRC activities to maximize the positive impact of humanitarian aid through suitable, sustainable and effective action. Please click here to learn more about sustainability at the ICRC. 

Confidentiality and our privilege of non-disclosure

Bilateral, confidential dialogue has been part of the ICRC's identity for more than 150 years. In some cases, in particular where there is no other neutral and independent actor, confidentiality is the key that enables us to have access to the people we are seeking to protect and assist. For more information, please see:
- Memorandum of the privilege of non-disclosure of the ICRC
- ICRC's confidential approach