The Canadian Red Cross mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world. The Canadian Red Cross is the leading humanitarian organization through which people voluntarily demonstrate their caring for others in need.
Red Cross’s actions and decisions will be based upon:
- humanitarian values, as expressed in its Fundamental Principles;
- respect, dignity and care for one another within and outside of Red Cross, and
- integrity, accountability, effectiveness, and transparency.
Red Cross Fundamental Principles
In 1965, the seven Fundamental Principles were adopted by the 20th International Conference. They were developed to link together the International Committee, Federation and National Societies.
The Red Cross network is vast, but its approach is simple. All Red Cross programs and activities are guided by the Fundamental Principles of Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality. These principles allow the organization to provide help immediately to whomever needs it, wherever they are, whatever their race, political beliefs, religion, social status, or culture.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, co-operation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.
Red Cross makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavours to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.
In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
The Red Cross Movement is independent. The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement.
Red Cross is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.
There can only be one Red Cross or one Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is world-wide.
*Part of Canadian Red Cross Strategic Plan (2003 to 2008) approved at the Red Cross General Assembly, October 31, 2003.