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2023/02/16160 Years on the Side of Humanity
160 years on the side of humanity: A commitment that has never waned---ICRC
On 17 February 1863, Henry Dunant and five of his peers then set up the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded in 1863. This later became the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
In 1859, Henry Dunant arrived in Solferino, a town in northern Italy, to discover the French and Austrian armies had just fought battles. Dunant revolted by what he saw. What he was about to do would change the course of humanitarianism profoundly.
When Dunant got back to his hometown of Geneva, he began writing A Memory of Solferino, which was published in 1862. In his book, he set out two major ideas:
• Relief committees should be formed to train volunteers in times of peace so that they could treat the wounded in times of war. These committees swiftly became the first National Red Cross Societies.
• An international agreement should recognize these committees and grant them protection on the battlefield. The original Geneva Convention, adopted in 1864, made these ideas reality and constitutes the foundation of modern-day international humanitarian law.
Today, 160 years on, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement brings together 192 National Societies, all united by the desire to alleviate human suffering and provide assistance to the most vulnerable people, wherever they are.
People celebrate what makes them feel like a family: a common understanding of humanity and the will to alleviate suffering.----Marko Kokic/ICRC