The growth of the Internet has had many beneficial effects for the world and for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It has also unfortunately created many opportunities for unscrupulous people to launch fraudulent appeals for money, and the number of these after virtually every newsworthy disaster is a matter of concern for all members of the Movement, and the governments which are responsible for the prevention of emblem abuse and misuse.
The registration of websites is handled in different ways in different countries under rules set by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), but in general it is evident that registrars are not well aware of the laws which protect emblems and there is an increasing number of cases in which Movement emblems and names are misused. This is sometimes deliberate, but in many more cases it is due to ignorance.
The IFRC and several National Societies have taken step to address these needs, but it is important that all Movement members and International Conference participants are aware of the challenges and the methods which are available to deal with them. It is also important that Governments are sensitised to their responsibilities in this new area of law and action.
IFRC will host a panel discussion at which a short explanatory paper will be provided and a panel will explain the issues and answer questions. The discussion should make it possible to produce a comprehensive but simple paper which can be used in all countries to address these new challenges.
The panel will take place on 30 November, from 14:30 to 16:30, at the International Conference Centre of Geneva (CICG), Rue de Varembé, 15 – Geneva, Switzerland.