World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day: Celebrating our principles

This World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day we're marking 50 years of our Fundamental Principles in action.

As we celebrate this milestone, we reflect on how our principles enable individuals to retain their human dignity and livelihood, in the face of conflict, disaster or crisis. See our principles in action worldwide.

 Our principles in action

Humanity means I can make a living to support my family.

 Amy Subha is a nurse – and an Ebola survivor. She became infected while caring for an Ebola patient. With the money she received from us, Amy has been buying and selling charcoal, making a living for her children and herself. See Amy's story.


Impartiality means everyone can receive medical treatment

When Ahmed was young, he saw one of his relatives die in hospital due to gunshot wounds. From that moment, Ahmed wanted to be doctor. Today, Ahmed is the Chief Surgeon at the Red Crescent-run Keysaney hospital and has provided medical treatment for over 23 years to everyone in need – irrespective of their origins or beliefs. Read Ahmed's story.


Neutrality means I can get married.

Nihal was from occupied Golan Heights, her groom was living in Syria. In the demilitarized zone between their two homes, we helped make their wedding happen. By building trust with all authorities and negotiating for access to a safe place, the families had a rare moment together to celebrate the marriage.


Independence means we're directed only by needs.

Around the world, we partner to deliver humanitarian service to vulnerable communities, but our volunteers and staff like Valentina ensure that people's needs always come first. Watch our principles in action.



Voluntary Service means I can help the community.

Lubov fled her home town of Pervomaisk for the safety of Severodonetsk. Now she helps others who escaped the fighting in eastern Ukraine, volunteering with the Red Cross team to distribute bread. Read Lubov's story.


Unity means anyone can get help.

 Every day the Lebanese Red Cross ambulance service receives hundreds of urgent requests for assistance. With 2,700 first aid volunteers from all walks of life, volunteers like Edgar aim to respond to emergency calls within minutes, ensuring help is always on the way for anyone in need – no matter who they are or where they're from. Learn more about Lebanese Red Cross.


Universality means I can be with my mother.

Pilera was visiting her aunt in Bangui when the city was attacked. They both fled and found safety in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. But Pilera had no idea what happened to her mother. Using its global network, we worked together with Cameroon Red Cross to find Pilera's mother. Read Pilera's story.


For more on our Fundamental Principles, watch: Our principles in action video and visit the Our principles in action global website.