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Fundamental Principles

The Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are:

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, 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 and whenever 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 among its people.

It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religion, 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 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. National Societies, while auxiliaries in humanitarian service of their governments and subjects to the laws of their respective countries must always maintain autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement.

The Movement is a voluntary relief organization not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.

There can only be one society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry one emblem in 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 a worldwide organization.