World Red Cross Day or World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day are celebrated on May 8 of every year. The day is a day to celebrate the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The day marks the anniversary of the birth of Henry Dunant, the founder of ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross), and the winner of the first Nobel Peace Prize, which was born on 8th May 1828. The day is dedicated to paying tribute to the volunteers for their fantastic contribution to the people in need.
History of World Red Cross Day or World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day
After World War I, the idea of “annual action could take hold in the whole world, but it would be a significant contribution to peace” was introduced and evolved out of the “Red Cross Truce”, an initiative that was examined by an international commission established at 14th International Conference of the Red Cross. The results were granted at the 15th International Conference in Tokyo in 1934; then it was confirmed and having considered the principles of the truce. Its applicability across various regions of the world, the General Assembly of the IFRC (International Federation of the Red Cross Societies), asked the LORCS (League of the Red Cross Societies) to consider the feasibility of adopting the first World Red Cross Day. After two years, the proposal was approved and the first Red Cross Day was organized on 8th May 1948. The standard title of the day has changed over time, and it became “World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day” in 1984.
Seven Main Principles of Red Cross Society
The seven most important principles of the Red Cross Society are listed below
- Humanity: The primary purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure that respect for every human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, and cooperation amongst all people.
- Impartiality: Impartiality makes no discrimination by national, race, religious beliefs, class, or political opinions. The primary motive is to help individuals solely by their needs and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.
- Neutrality: This principle is adopted to enjoy confidence in all things, the movement does not engage in controversies of political, religious, racial, and ideological nature.
- Independence: The movement is independent. The National Societies, while accessories in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their individual countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act by the principles of the movement.
- Voluntary service: It is a voluntary relief movement hence it shouldn’t be promoted in any way by the desire for gain.
- Unity: The Red Cross society should carry on its humanistic practice throughout its territory.
- Universality: The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all societies and people have equal status and share equal liabilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.
Themes of World Red Cross Day
2009 – Climate Change and its humanitarian consequences serving as a Solferino of Today
2010 – Urbanization
2011 – Find the Volunteer inside You
2012 – youth on the move
2013 – Together for Humanity
2014 – Together for Humanity
2015 – Together for Humanity
2016 – Everywhere for everyone
2017– Less Known Red Cross Stories
2018 – Memorable smiles from around the world
2019 – #Love
2020 – Unboxing The Future of Red Cross Youth
2021 – Unstoppable
2022 – BeHumanKind
Other Celebrations on May 8
May 8 is also celebrated as
How to Celebrate the Day
Try to inspire, encourage and initiate at all times and all forms of humanitarian activities so that human suffering can be decreased and to create a peaceful environment across the world. You can use #WorldRedCrossDay to post on social media.
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