Matters of principle

The Fundamental Principles turn 50 years old this year. What better time to examine the challenges faced in putting these key guiding principles into action? In this story, a volunteer from Pakistan tells how what started as a routine food distribution mission revealed a series of dilemmas, questions and difficult choices.


Facing these dilemmas…
what would you do?

Neutrality and independence in the fight against Ebola

Neutrality at the community level

Religious materials under the Red Cross roof?



An early test of principle        
Following the genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge regime, the ICRC launched its biggest ever aid operation in cooperation with UNICEF — and the Fundamental Principles, adopted in 1965, faced one of their first big tests.


A delicate balance        
A National Society asks for your advice in how to
balance its auxiliary role with local government
and the principle of independence.




Fundamental Principles 2065
Paris-based artist Pat Masioni imagines some of
the issues that might confront the Fundamental
Principles 50 years from now.


Disaster risk reduction
Bouncing back

How communities in the Philippines are helping to redefine that now ubiquitous humanitarian buzzword ‘resilience’ from the ground up, as they cope with successive storms and other natural disasters.

Economic crisis and migration
Hard times, new energy

A strategic crossroads between continents in the middle of the Mediterranean, the Republic of Cyprus is coping with increasing migration in the midst of financial crisis.

The missing
Cases of identity
Patricio Bustos says visits from ICRC delegates when he was imprisoned in Chile in the 1970s likely saved his life. Now, as head of the country’s forensic services agency, he’s working, with help from the ICRC, to find answers about what happened to those who disappeared during Chile’s years of dictatorship.

In Brief
A summary of Red Cross and Red Crescent activities around the world including: A deadly start of 2015 for humanitarians; Ebola claims Red Cross workers lives;
Young lives turned upside down; Humanitarian index and more...

Guest editorial
Guiding lights through many dilemmas
The Fundamental Principles at 50

By François Bugnion
Member of the International Committee of the Red Cross.


Answers to your questions about international humanitarian law; a five-year Haiti progress report; a brochure on explosive remnants of war; market analysis for the humanitarian; and an animated video entitled ‘You probably don’t have Ebola if…’

Back cover
The Seven Fundamental Principles are often the first things people learn about the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.


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