Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

A timeline of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement


Franco-Sardinian and Austrian troops clash in Battle of Solferino, near northern Italian town of Castiglione della Pieve. Swiss businessman Henry Dunant, horrified by the slaughter, helps to care for the wounded of both sides. This battle leads, ultimately, to formation of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.


International Committee formed for relief of military wounded (members Henry Dunant, Gustave Moynier, Louis Appia, Theodore Maunoir and Guillaume-Henri Dufour) . In 1876, committee becomes International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).


International Geneva Conference. Adoption of the Red Cross on white background (reverse of Swiss flag) as protective emblem and establishment of national committees for the relief of military wounded.


Twelve states sign 10 articles forming the 1st Geneva Convention -- protection of international law both to wounded enemy soldiers and those caring for them.


First International Conference of the Red Cross, attended by nine governments, 16 National Committees and the International Committee. Subsequent conferences to turn of century held in Berlin (1869), Geneva (1884), Karlsruhe (1887), Rome (1892) and Vienna (1897).


Hague Conventions

  • Laws and customs of war on land (Convention No. II)
  • Adaptation to maritime warfare of the principles of the 1864 Geneva Convention (Convention No. III)
  Last Updated: 31 October 1999

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