International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

I just listened to a story on NPR about the history and policies of the ICRC. The Red Cross has a mission of ensuring humane treatment of prisoners all over the world. One of their policies is to work "under the radar", and to not go public with information about abuses that they encounter. They claim that this policy gives them more credibility and allows them to negotiate on behalf of prisoners for all sides of a conflict. Earlier this year, the ICRC was aware of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, but did not go public with the information. Intead, they worked with U.S. political and military personnel to try to rectify the situation. The NPR story also noted that the ICRC had knowledge of the systematic extermination of prisoners at Auchwitz, but remained publicly silent about it. This policy of silence has its critics. However, I can see the point of it. I think that the ICRC tries hard to be seen as neutral, and to always fight on behalf of prisoners.

The ICRC was founded in the early 1800s as a result of the founder's visit to a battlefield in Italy.

I think the ICRC is an important humanitarian organization. War is bad enough as it is. Think of what war would be like without the Red Cross.


Sean said…
a marked contrast to Amnesty International. i would guess both have their place...

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