Yellow banner with pen and letters

Author: Marion Harroff-Tavel

The Humanitarian Diplomacy of the International Committee of the Red Cross


The International Committee of the Red Cross engages in humanitarian diplomacy to promote respect for international humanitarian law and protect victims of armed conflicts.
icon for right PDF

You may also be interested in


Humanitarian Practice Network Paper

The humanitarian community uses many approaches to evidence. Representative initiatives are presented in Table 1. The many different data gatherers, managers, users and donors have prompted recent efforts to inventory and critique these varied approaches. In October 2007, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) began a two-year multisectoral study into the Assessment and Classification of Emergencies (ACE). The terms of reference for the study identified 17 global initiatives relevant to emergency assessment and analysis.1 In the terms of reference of the ...


Resolution on Safeguarding Humanitarian Data

The resolution Safeguarding Humanitarian Data addresses the centrality of data for humanitarian actions. It reiterates previous initiatives and resolutions of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.


Humanitarian Diplomacy Policy

Humanitarian diplomacy is persuading decision makers and opinion leaders to act, at all times, in the interests of vulnerable people, and with full respect for fundamental humanitarian principles.


Humanitarian diplomacy

The message highlights the importance of humanitarian diplomacy as a critical tool in addressing global challenges and promoting humanitarian efforts worldwide.


Humanitarian Negotiation: A Handbook for Securing Access, Assistance, and Protection for Civilians in Armed Conflict

This project would not have been possible without the many humanitarian workers who shared their negotiation experience with us. Interviewees are too many in number to be listed separately, but we would like to thank in particular the staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Macedonia, the staff of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva and Côte d’Ivoire, the members of Save the Children, representatives and inhabitants of La Maison Carrée and the refugee women of Treichville in Côte d’Ivoire, as well a...


Customary International Humanitarian Law

Customary international humanitarian law is a set of unwritten rules derived from a general, or common, practice which is acknowledged as law. It's the basic standard of conduct in armed conflict accepted by the world community. Customary international humanitarian law is applicable universally – independently of the application of treaty law – and is based on extensive and virtually uniform State practice regarded as law.


The Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross: Commentary

The Fundamental Principles are the result of a century of experience. Proclaimed in Vienna in 1965, they bond together the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and guarantee the continuity of the Movement and its humanitarian work. In this succinct commentary intended for the general public, Jean Pictet explains the meaning of each of the seven Fundamental Principles; he analyses them on the basis of different criteria and presents all their various aspects, thus mak...


The Humanitarian Diplomacy of the International Committee of the Red Cross

The International Committee of the Red Cross engages in humanitarian diplomacy to promote respect for international humanitarian law and protect victims of armed conflicts.


Citizen Diplomats: Exploring the Links Between Community Organising and Humanitarian Diplomacy

In this briefing paper, Hannah Bird explores the links between community organising and humanitarian diplomacy by drawing on the concepts and methods of community organising.


Humanitarian public diplomacy: International calls to action in the digital era

This dissertation examines IOs (IOs) as emerging stars in the constellation of diplomatic actors, as extra-state and supra-state entities that do not replace, but rather complement, align with and encourage states. Specifically focusing on humanitarian - those attentive to the needs of people - international organisations, the paper explores their use of calls to action as a public diplomacy tool that both activates the public and reflects the needs and desires of individuals and their communities, translated to policy context. Calls to action should be strategic, well-researched, authoritive,...


Humanitarian intervention and international society

The text discusses the concept of humanitarian intervention within international society.


Managing Global Chaos

The message deals with strategies for managing global chaos. It discusses the importance of adaptability, resilience, and communication in navigating turbulent international waters. Leaders are advised to anticipate challenges, foster collaboration, and maintain a proactive approach to addressing crises on a global scale. The text emphasizes the need for flexibility and innovation to effectively manage chaos in a rapidly changing world.


Humanitarian Negotiations with Armed Groups: A Manual and Guidelines for Practitioners

The manual provides guidance for practitioners engaging in negotiations with armed groups in humanitarian settings, emphasizing the importance of effective communication, building trust, and understanding the motivations of armed groups. It outlines key principles and strategies to ensure successful humanitarian negotiations and highlights the critical role of negotiation skills in securing access to deliver aid to vulnerable populations.


Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa

The book "Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa" argues that traditional aid to Africa is ineffective and harmful. It claims that aid perpetuates poverty by fostering corruption and dependency instead of promoting sustainable economic growth. The author advocates for alternative solutions such as investment and trade to create long-term prosperity in Africa, emphasizing the need for African countries to take control of their own development.


Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Humanitarian Assistance of the United Nations

The text discusses the Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Humanitarian Assistance of the United Nations.


Intervening in Africa: Superpower Peacemaking in a Troubled Continent

The text discusses superpower intervention in Africa for peacekeeping purposes.


Digital Diplomacy and the ICRC (Briefing Paper #7)

In this briefing paper, Ms Alice Maillot discusses the potential of digital diplomacy for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). She looks at the changing nature of diplomacy, new developments in digital diplomacy, and how the ICRC can implement and adopt some of the current trends.


IFRC and Humanitarian Diplomacy

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) emphasizes the importance of humanitarian diplomacy in assisting vulnerable populations during crises around the world. Through collaboration with governments, organizations, and communities, the IFRC aims to advocate for humanitarian principles and provide essential aid to those in need. By engaging in diplomatic efforts, the IFRC can ensure effective response and support for humanitarian causes globally.


International Humanitarian Norms and Principles

The text discusses the importance of adhering to international humanitarian norms and principles in all circumstances to protect and respect human dignity, regardless of the situation.

The Responsibility to Protect

The Responsibility to Protect doctrine asserts that states have the responsibility to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. When a state fails to do so, the international community must intervene responsibly to prevent and protect populations from mass atrocities. This principle emphasizes the importance of upholding human rights and promoting peace and security globally.


Weapons Overview

The Weapons Overview provides an in-depth analysis of various weapons, including firearms, melee weapons, and explosives, covering their specifications, advantages, and best use scenarios. It aims to assist readers in making informed decisions regarding weapon selection for different situations.

The State of the Humanitarian System

The text discusses the challenging state of the humanitarian system, highlighting gaps in funding, coordination, and response effectiveness.


Humanitarian Principles

The text discusses the importance of applying humanitarian principles in aiding vulnerable populations, emphasizing humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence. These principles guide humanitarian action, ensuring that assistance is provided solely based on needs and without discrimination. Adhering to these principles helps maintain trust with affected communities and ensures effective and ethical assistance delivery.


Message on Switzerland’s International Cooperation in 2013-2016

The text discusses Switzerland's international cooperation activities from 2013 to 2016.