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20 The Role of the International Committee of the Red Cross

From: The Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions in Context

Annyssa Bellal, Stuart Casey-Maslen

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 30 September 2023

Armed conflict — Conduct of hostilities

This chapter highlights the role of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It notes how the ICRC safeguarded its role as the impetus and critical supporter of new international humanitarian law (IHL) treaties and norms by acting as the driving force that led to the first Geneva Convention. The ICRC’s initial vocation revolved around the wounded and sick in the field before changing when the National Societies of countries in conflict asked for assistance and relief work, believing that humanitarian work proffered guarantees of neutrality and independence. The chapter also recognises the ICRC’s role as the guardian of IHL, but the organisation has been caught between its conflicting goals of protecting victims and implementing IHL. It explains that ICRC’s core mission continues to weaken due to the increasing attacks of different natures.

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