The seven fundamental principles
As a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement the BVI Red Cross is committed to, and bound by, its fundamental principles.
Proclaimed in Vienna in 1965, the seven Fundamental Principles bind together the:
- National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
- International Committee of the Red Cross
- International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
They guarantee the consistency of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and its humanitarian work.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, co-operation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.
It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavours to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.
In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
The Movement is independent. The National Societies, whilst auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement.
It is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.
There can only be one Red Cross or Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.
The principles in action today
A flash of hope
Around the world, whenever a humanitarian crisis occurs, the Red Cross or Red Crescent is always one of the first organisations on the scene thanks to our kind volunteers.
Today, the challenges posed by an unpredictable and often changing global landscape have never been greater. But our principles still ring true.
They still guide us through adversity. They still command respect. They still make the Red Cross unique.
Protection at all costs
We recognise we’re only able to work in conflict zones such as Yemen, Syria and South Sudan because we’re neutral, impartial and independent, and because the red cross and red crescent emblems reflect these principles.
This is why it is important we celebrate the principles and make as much noise as possible about why they matter.
Principles in action project
Our Principles in action project explores how the fundamental principles help the Red Cross across the world.
Using real-life examples, the project shows how the principles help staff and volunteers gain access to, and help, people in need. You can download the project's in-depth reports below.