Women and War, implementation of the ICRC pledge to the 27th International Conference


The ICRC’s mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and internal violence by promoting respect for international humanitarian law and other relevant bodies of law, and to help the victims regain their self-sufficiency as quickly as possible.

In November 1999, the ICRC president made the following pledge at the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

 THE ICRC’S PLEDGE (2000-2003)  


 “The ICRC is gravely concerned at the occurrence of sexual violence in armed conflict. Sexual violence, in all its forms, is prohibited under international humanitarian law and should be vigorously prevented.  


 For this reason, the ICRC  pledges   to put emphasis throughout its activities on the respect which must be accorded to women and girl children. Focus will be placed on actively disseminating the prohibition of all forms of sexual violence to parties to an armed conflict.  


 Furthermore, the ICRC  pledges   to ensure that the specific protection, health and assistance needs of women and girl children affected by armed conflicts are appropriately assessed in its operations with the aim to alleviate the plight of the most vulnerable.”  

In 2000, the ICRC set up the Women and War Project to facilitate and oversee the implementation of this pledge. Since 2000, Women and War has been an institutional priority and has featured in objectives for field operations drawn up by the Directorate.


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