The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) is an organization that has been around for more than hundred years as of right now. Its main mission involves helping people caught in the middle of an armed political conflict, however, the organization transcends this particular aim and expands its competence into other realms of social change. By operating in the areas that are undergoing the most devastating kind of event that is possible on earth, war, the organization is undeniably affecting the socio-political climate of the country. Further in this review, the ICRC’s contributions to various socio-political causes are explored in every field that the Red Cross operates in.
As has been mentioned above, the main area that the ICRC conducts its manipulations is concerned with the areas of high political tension, usually involving an armed conflict. The organization has been doing humanitarian work since the time of its conception in 1914 (Langton and West 2). The organization takes its roots and founding principles from the Geneva Convention in 1906, following into the beginning of the First World War, and “to this day, has been unable to disassociate itself from the ravages of war, disasters and emergencies” (Langton and West 2). The activities of the Red Cross can be tracked through its annual reports made publicly aware by the ICRC itself.
In the latest report available right now, the 2019 Annual ICRC report, the operations conducted in that fiscal year are listed along with a detailed description of the activities the organization was preoccupied with in every country. Judging by it, the Red Cross has completed humanitarian tasks in the areas of economic security, healthcare, and physical rehabilitation, as well as helping people with food, providing aid for detainees, and helping to re-establish lost family links.
For instance, in their African mission, namely in Algeria, the ICRC has been able to successfully practice “family-reconnection services”, so that people were able to make video calls, oral calls, and send parcels to their relatives displaced by a war conflict (ICRC 123). Providing technical and other solutions in order to make family reconnections possible is a social work of tremendous importance to lessen the degree to which people are affected by an armed conflict in their home country.
Another majorly important social aspect that the Red Cross is concerned with, is the health of those affected by war. In Burkina Faso, for example, the ICRC, after visiting the detainees in Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Côte d’Ivoire, obliged penitentiary authorities to “improve detainees’ living conditions and treatment, particularly their nutrition and access to health care” (ICRC 113). The organization also donated medicinal treatments for the prisoners.
Additionally, the Red Cross also contributed to the improvement of the refugee communities by providing them with access to clean water via installing water pumps and latrines, vaccination of their livestock, and promoting good hygiene in their communities (ICRC 2019). Evidently, the organization has been able to achieve impressive results in the field of healthcare and general improved well-being of those affected by war, even judging by these small examples.
As it became clear during the process of compiling this review, the International Committee of Red Cross, is a neutral, non-profit organization that is aiming to alleviate the condition of many people affected by war in every part of the globe. As a result of studying the 2019 report, it became clear that the organization has missions and is present in numerous countries across the globe; and the contribution that it makes are quite significant.
The organization is doing important social work via providing war refugees with everything to satisfy their basic needs while also offering services such as family reconnection, healthcare support, and improving people’s wellbeing in every way possible. Politically, the organization remains neutral, while majorly contribution to most of the social problems that the global human society faces such as hunger, violence, lack of access to clean water and means of sanitation, lack of education, and inhuman conditions.
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). “2019 Annual Report”. ICRC, 2019.
Langton, John & West, Brian. “One hundred years of annual reporting by the Australian Red Cross: Building public trust and approbation through emotive disclosures”. Accounting History, vol. 21, no. 2, 2016, pp. 185 –207.