International humanitarian law and policy on

Protected persons: Migrants, refugees, asylum seekers

According to the ICRC’s definition, migrants are people who leave or flee their usual place of residence in search of safety or better opportunities abroad, and who may be in distress and in need of protection or humanitarian assistance. Refugees and asylum seekers, who enjoy specific protection under international law, fall into this category.

Slovenian Red Cross members with refugees and migrants in transit.

Our response to the needs of vulnerable migrants

Migration is a complex, global phenomenon. The causes behind migration are many and varied. Whatever the reasons for leaving their countries, migrants can become vulnerable at different stages of their journey, and some endure hardship that can harm their physical and mental well-being and threaten their lives.