World Red Cross Day is an annual event celebration, celebrating the principles of “International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement”. It is celebrated every year to pay tribute to the volunteers participated in the event as well as welcome their precious contribution for helping people in need. World Red Cross Red Crescent Day is celebrated on 8 May each year. This date is the anniversary of the birth of Henry Dunant, who was born on 8 May 1828. He was the founder of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize.
About Red Cross
Established in 1863, the ICRC operates worldwide, helping people affected by conflict and armed violence and promoting the laws that protect victims of war. An independent and neutral organization, its mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The base is in Geneva, Switzerland, and employ over 20,000 people in more than 100 countries. The ICRC is funded mainly by voluntary donations from governments and from National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Fundamental Principles of the Global Red Cross Network
The Red Cross, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavors—in its international and national capacity—to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.
It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavors 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 Red Cross may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
The Red Cross is independent. The national societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with Red Cross principles.
The Red Cross is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.
There can be only one Red Cross society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.
The Red Cross is a worldwide institution in which all societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other.
The red cross emblem came into existence more than 150 years ago when the Geneva Conventions adopted it to protect medical personnel assisting the wounded on the battlefield. Soon after, the emblem was also adopted to identify the humanitarian services of Red Cross societies around the world.
Today, it is one of the most recognized symbols in the world for a very important reason.
During armed conflict, the red cross emblem means “don’t shoot,” that this person, vehicle, building or equipment is not part of the fight but is providing impartial assistance. The emblem provides protection for military medical units, transportation of the wounded, and for the Red Cross’s humanitarian aid. The global Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement utilizes the emblem to signify our promise of voluntary, neutral and impartial assistance to all people in need, regardless of race, religion or citizenship status.
Considering that cross is a symbol often associated with religion Christianity, some countries adopted a different symbol/emblems.
There are four such emblems, three of which are in use: the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, and the Red Crystal. The Red Lion and Sun is also a recognized emblem, but is no longer in use
Turkey-History of Red Crescent
During the Russo-Turkish War from 1876 to 1878, the Ottoman Empire used a Red Crescent instead of the Red Cross because its government believed that the cross would alienate its Muslim soldiers. When asked by the ICRC in 1877, Russia committed to fully respect the sanctity of all persons and facilities bearing the Red Crescent symbol, followed by a similar commitment from the Ottoman government to respect the Red Cross. After this de facto assessment of equal validity to both symbols, the ICRC declared in 1878 that it should be possible in principle to adopt an additional official protection symbol for non-Christian countries. The Red Crescent was formally recognized in 1929 when the Geneva Conventions were amended (Article 19). After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Red Crescent was first used by its successor nation Turkey, followed by Egypt. From its official recognition to today, the Red Crescent became the organizational emblem of nearly every national society in countries with majority Muslim populations. The national societies of some countries such as Pakistan (1974), Malaysia (1975), or Bangladesh (1989) have officially changed their name and emblem from the Red Cross to the Red Crescent. The Red Crescent is used by 33 of the 190 recognized societies worldwide.
These days during Ramazan, Turkish Red Crescents is providing food all along the country and abroad.
Motto and Mission
The original motto of the International Committee of the Red Cross was Inter Arma Caritas (“In War, Charity“). This Christian-spirited slogan was amended in 1961 with the neutral motto Per Humanitatem ad Pacem or “With humanity, towards peace”. While Inter Arma Caritas is still the primary motto of the ICRC ,Per Humanitatem ad Pacem is the primary motto of the Federation Both organizations acknowledge the alternative motto, and together both slogans serve as the combined motto of the International Movement.
The mission statement of the International Movement is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. From 1999 to 2004, the common slogan for all activities of the International Movement was The Power of Humanity. In December 2003, the 28th International Conference in Geneva adopted the conference motto Protecting Human Dignity as the new Movement slogan.