Fundamental Principles - International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality: these seven Fundamental Principles sum up the Movement’s ethics and are at the core of its approach to helping people in need during armed conflict, natural disasters and other emergencies.

These principles unite the components of the Movement – the ICRC, the National Societies and the International Federation – and enable them to provide effective, unbiased assistance to people in need. They are mandatory rules of conduct that the Movement’s components are required to follow at all times, and States must respect this necessity.

The Fundamental Principles are key to the Movement’s identity. Adherence to these principles ensures the humanitarian nature of the Movement’s work and brings consistency to the broad range of activities it undertakes around the world. The principles provide a common bond
for the National Societies, which vary greatly in structure, culture and membership.

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