Our Strategies, Policies and Code of Conduct

Here you will find the documents that set out our commitment to ethical conduct, integrity and operational excellence in all our activities.

In eastern Jordan, Mafraq, an ICRC employee tells Syrian refugees about the services available to re-establish contact with relatives.

ICRC Institutional Strategy

The ICRC Institutional Strategy is the roadmap that guides our humanitarian efforts and objectives. Grounded in the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence, the Institutional Strategy outlines our commitment to providing life-saving assistance, protection and humanitarian support to individuals and communities affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence.

Our Statutes and Policies

Policy documents ensure that we as an organization are consistent over time, and that we are predictable and credible in our work. These documents take into account the external environment and are based on the practice, history and statutes of the ICRC; international humanitarian law; our Fundamental Principles and the statutes and resolutions of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent 

Our Code of Conduct

The ICRC Code of Conduct reflects our commitment to meet fundamental principles and rules for ethical conduct in all our organizational activities. The Code of Conduct foregrounds operational excellence with integrity – which is the core of our organization's identity.

Frequently asked questions

  • The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization. We have a mandate to help and protect people affected by armed conflict and other violence or – as our mission statement puts it – “other situations of violence”. When we talk about other violence, we mean violence that has not reached the threshold of an armed conflict but is carried out by large groups and has consequences in humanitarian terms. This mandate was given to us by states through the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, their Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005 and the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement of 1986.

    Our mandate and legal status sets us apart from both intergovernmental organizations (such as the specialized agencies of the United Nations) and non-governmental organizations. This status allows us to function independently of governments and to serve, with complete impartiality, the people most in need of protection and assistance.

  • The ICRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which also comprises 191 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

    The ICRC works closely with National Societies and the IFRC to ensure a concerted, efficient and rapid response to conflict or violence. The Movement is the largest humanitarian network in the world.