The British Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the world's largest independent humanitarian network.
The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is made up of three parts:
- the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
- the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
- 189 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world, including the British Red Cross.
The International Committee of the Red Cross
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an independent humanitarian organisation, whose role is defined in the Geneva Conventions.
It helps victims of armed conflict and internal disturbances, and coordinates the work of National Societies in these situations. ICRC delegates also visit prisoners-of-war and civilian detainees to inspect their conditions.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Also based in Geneva, the Federation co-ordinates international relief provided by National Societies for victims of natural disasters, and for refugees and displaced persons outside conflict zones. It also helps National Societies with their own development, helping them to plan and implement disaster-preparedness and development projects for vulnerable people in their local communities.
National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
The British Red Cross is a National Society. Most countries around the world have a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society. Each Society has a responsibility to help vulnerable people within its own borders, and to work in conjunction with the Movement to protect and support those in crisis worldwide.
As each National Society works to meet local needs, services vary from country to country. For example, some Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies provide a national blood transfusion service, though this is not the case in Britain.
Find out about the Geneva Conventions