World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day
World Red Cross Day is celebrated on 8th May to commemorate the birthday of Jean Henry Dunant the founder of the International Red Cross Society and recipient of the first Nobel Prize for Peace. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian network and is guided by seven Fundamental Principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, universality, and unity.
The theme for World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day 2020 is “Community and pandemic preparedness“.
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 to helping people in need.
Red Cross was introduced as a major contribution to peace after World War I by an international commission at the 14th International Conference of the Red Cross. The principles of the Red Cross Truce were presented and approved on the 15th International Conference at Tokyo in the year 1934 to get applicable all across the world in different regions. The possibility of its annual celebration was asked to the “League of the Red Cross Societies (LORCS)” by the International Federation of the Red Cross Societies (IFRC) General Assembly. And just 2 years later the proposal of celebrating this day annually was adopted and was first celebrated as the Red Cross Day on the 8th of May in 1948. Later, it was officially named as the “World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day” in the year 1984.
World Red Cross Day is celebrated by the people on an international level to alleviate people’s suffering, enhancing their dignity, protecting their life from emergencies, and lots of natural disasters including epidemic diseases, floods, and earthquakes. It is celebrated by all the sections of the Red Cross organizations to help people by keeping in front it’s all fundamental principles which are humanity, independence, impartiality, neutrality, universality, voluntary and unity.
International Committee of the Red Cross and its members (National Societies) organize lots of programs and events in order to encourage volunteers as well as facilitate and promote their humanitarian activities. International Red Cross movement members assist the suffered people of any problems. People are motivated to protect their own lives and take care of the dignity of other victims.
It is celebrated annually to honor the founder of an International Red Cross Crescent Movement, Henry Dunant. It is celebrated by the National Societies (affiliated to ICRC) in their countries to aware people of the need for life protection in some drastic conditions. It highlights the international services to motivate people to hugely participate in life-saving activities.
Key Principles of the Red Cross Society
The main principles of the Red Cross Society are as follows –
Humanity: Its main principle is to serve humanity. Wherever war is going on in the world, this organization of wounded soldiers and soldiers serve selflessly.
Fairness: It does not discriminate in the name of caste, religion, class, politics, country. This organization helps all the victims impartially.
Neutrality: The Red Cross Society is a neutral institution. It does not favor any country or government. It helps everyone in the same spirit.
Independence: It is an independent institution. It does not work under the pressure of the government of any country.
Voluntary Service: This organization does not do any human service for any selfishness. The Red Cross Society’s campaign is completely selfless.
Unity: It wants to bring unity in the whole world through its social service and human works. The purpose of this institution is to maintain love peace among all countries. Its purpose is to prevent war.
Universality: It is a universal institution. It is available in all countries of the world and offers its services.
Challenges for Red Cross Society
Human service work is very difficult. There is a competition to make more and more nuclear weapons in many countries of the world. Countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Iran are battling terrorism. At present, terrorism has emerged as a big challenge.
Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), in his briefing to UN permanent missions stressed the importance of communities coming together to mitigate the immediate and secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across the global community.
“Covid-19 is a wake-up call to the international community. There is an urgent need for global solidarity to address this pandemic. This crisis connects us all in an unprecedented way. The safety and well-being of each individual are critical for the safety and well-being of the entire world,” said President Rocca.
“Procedures for exemptions are often lengthy and costly. We are engaging with the stakeholders concerned to seek exemptions for essential humanitarian items and to meet the urgent needs of the population,” Rocca said.
Rocca emphasized that prevention measures including proper handwashing and physical distancing should remain steadily in place, as well as consistent community engagement to ensure that people feel informed and empowered – both key factors to help save millions of lives.