The movement defined
The red cross and red crescent on a white background are among
the 20th century's most enduring images. In war and peace, and in
the midst of suffering and tragedy caused by man-made or natural
disasters, they are internationally-recognised symbols of help and
An idea forged in the bloody aftermath of the Battle of Solferino
in 1859 through the vision of its founders has grown to become the
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
"The Movement" is a term covering two international institutions
with headquarters in Geneva and national
societies in 186 countries.
The two institutions are the International Committee of the Red
Cross (ICRC) and the International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (the International
Federation). The National Societies comprise most of the more than
97 million Red Cross workers - the world's biggest volunteer force.
With the advent of more and more complex humanitarian emergencies,
the work of both institutions is required to handle certain crises.
When this is the case, the work of both is governed by an agreement
signed in Spain in November of 1997, known as "the
Seville Agreement" -- it establishes one of the institutions,
or a National Society, as the 'lead agency' responsible for spearheading
the Movement's work overall.
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