The Swiss Red Cross (SRC) is the best-known humanitarian organization in Switzerland. Our many years of experience, the commitment of our volunteers and our worldwide network are what sets us apart. We also advocate for the most vulnerable members of society on a political level.
True to the Fundamental Principles, the SRC maintains a relationship of trust with all the various actors in society, such as members of parliament and the local authorities, and the Red Cross as a whole does not uphold any political, religious or ideological convictions.
The SRC’s political dialogue adheres to strict criteria. For example, in accordance with its Fundamental Principles of neutrality and independence, the SRC never takes a position on popular votes and does not take part in party political debate.
The SRC’s political dialogue is also guided by the principle of humanity. It advocates for the most vulnerable, gives them a voice and guides political decision-making processes in their favour.
The work of all the members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is founded on the same seven Fundamental Principles. They put our values and ideals into words. But above all, they are a call to action: to protect the life, dignity and health of vulnerable individuals and support them in emergencies.
The seven Fundamental Principles have existed in their current form since 1965. In 1986, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement included them in its statutes. Since then, they have been mandatory for all its members, including the Swiss Red Cross.
All our members and volunteers, both in Switzerland and abroad, are guided by these principles in their work. In difficult situations, the Fundamental Principles provide us with direction and inspire confidence in us.
The Fundamental Principles
All members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are guided by the same seven Fundamental Principles:
Strong Red Cross partners
There are 192 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies worldwide. Each of them is faced with different challenges.
It is a priority for the Red Cross to base its humanitarian assistance in local communities. The SRC is committed to this approach, making the other national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies its natural partners. With around 14 million volunteers and 165,000 local branches, they are able to support and build the resistance of their communities, even in remote regions.
In our mission countries, we work hand in hand with the local Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. To ensure their sustainability, we support their organizational development, volunteer management and their local programmes. We strive to help our partners stand on their own two feet, with minimal support from abroad, so they can provide the best support for their own population.
Ever since the early days, volunteers have been the backbone of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. A total of 14 million volunteers work for the national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in their countries. Collectively, they form the world’s largest volunteer network.
Local volunteers are close to their own communities, understand people’s needs and hardships and enjoy their trust. When disaster strikes, the volunteers are often the first on the scene. Particularly in remote regions, they are often the only people there to support the local community. Their work is invaluable.
Volunteers work in a wide variety of sectors all over the world. These are mostly dictated by the social and political contexts in their countries. Volunteers help the most vulnerable sectors of society in accordance with the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross.
GOOD TO KNOW
Volunteering for the SRC
Humanity is also expressed through voluntary work in Switzerland. We have a network of about 53,000 volunteers, who support us in a variety of ways. They get to know new people, gain insight into other people’s realities, broaden their skills and find new meaning in their lives.
Manifesto for responsible communication
We are aware that our communication is responsible for shaping the image of development cooperation and people’s lives in developing countries. For this reason, in partnership
with other Swiss development organizations, we at the SRC have committed to a responsible approach to communication about international cooperation, set out in the form of a manifesto. Formulated by the development think-and-do tank Alliance Sud in consultation with its members and partners, this manifesto should help guide our staff and inspire us to be self-critical about our work.
Website in English
You are on the website of the Swiss Red Cross. Only certain pages are available in English. Further and more detailed content is available in the official languages of Switzerland: German, French and Italian.