By Catherine Carlton, American Red Cross North Texas Region
Anniversaries are a time to celebrate milestones and look back and remember how the "relationship" started.
This month marks the anniversary of the Geneva Convention that continues to guide us when it comes to international humanitarian law.
When we at the Red Cross celebrate how our relationship with Geneva Convention started and its milestones, we are reminded of our history of helping people, specifically those in war and affected by war across the globe; and the importance of our Red Cross emblem.
Join us in recognizing this anniversary by reviewing the history of these important humanitarian laws that began in 1864 and continue to evolve:
- First Geneva Convention: protects soldiers who are out of the battle. Later expanded to include wounded/sick soldiers as well as medical personal.
- Second Geneva Convention: adapts the protections to reflect conditions at sea.
- Third Geneva Convention: sets out specific rules for treatment of prisoners of war.
- Fourth Geneva Convention: civilians in areas of armed conflict are protected
- Two 1977 protocols give greater protection to victims of both international and internal armed conflicts.
- The red cross on a white background (the reverse of the Swiss flag) was identified as a protective emblem in conflict areas.
- Under the Geneva Conventions, the three distinctive emblems of the red cross, red crescent and red crystal are intended to identify and protect medical and relief workers, military and civilian medical facilities, mobile units and hospital ships.
- They are also used to identify the programs and activities of the Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies.
Red Cross: Exploring Humanitarian Law
Fact Sheet: Summary of the Geneva Conventions of 1949
What are the Geneva Conventions & International Humanitarian Law?
Story of an Idea - the animation
This animation of the comic book Story of an idea brings to life the story of the creation of the Red Cross, Red Crescent Movement and its history to date. The comic strip was created by the world renowned artist Jean Giraud, alias Moebius.
The animation presents in simple terms, the meaning of the Geneva Conventions, the universal humanitarian principles underlying the Movement's efforts and the general activities carried out by the different components of the Movement as they work together to help those in need. http://www.icrc.org