Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement

Unity

‘There can only be one National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.’

Must everyone be accepted if they want to become a member of the Red Cross or undertake voluntary work? In principle yes, in application of the principle of non-discrimination (no-one is refused on the basis of his geographical or social origins, religious convictions, etc.). However, it is a condition that a person wishing to join must identify with the Red Cross principles. Volunteers must also be apt for the work they wish to do.

The principle of Unity requires that there are no two different or even rival Societies in the same country. The National Society must carry on its work throughout the national territory. It may not, for example, on account of national tensions or secessionist efforts, exclude part of the national territory or any sector of the population.