The International Committee of the Red Cross is an independent and neutral organization that was founded in 1863. It works worldwide to provide humanitarian help to people affected by conflict and armed violence; it also promotes protection for war victims, within the framework of the Geneva Convention of 1949 and other Additional Protocols.
ICRC has been in Colombia for more than 40 years. The relationship between the Colombian state and ICRC is based on the provisions of International Humanitarian Law and Law 42 of 1981, which approved the Headquarters Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Colombia and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Moreover, it has adopted standards to ensure the efficiency of the work carried out by the ICRC.
ICRC’s operation in Colombia is the largest ICRC operation in the Americas. The ICRC's work in Colombia involves protecting civilians, helping displaced populations and people affected by the conflict, helping people affected by weapons contamination, supporting the families of missing people, visiting detainees, promoting international humanitarian law, and cooperating with the Colombian Red Cross and other Movements active in Colombia, among others, the Media Luna Roja (Red Crescent) in Colombia.
For all of these important ICRC’s accomplishments, the State has built with it a relationship of trust and respect for the principles of humanity: impartiality, neutrality, independence, volunteer service, unity and universality.