IRRC No. 314

Gustave Moynier and the peace societies

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As soon as the Red Cross was founded, the question of its relationship with war was raised. Indeed, it could be argued that placing the protection of war victims on an institutional basis and creating a reserved area off-limits to violence was tantamount to an official recognition of warfare or a tacit acceptance of the use of force. Some even wondered whether the attempt to regulate warfare without trying to eliminate it was not serving the purposes of the military and political leaders responsible for waging war, who would be able to invoke the notion of “clean warfare” to justify themselves in the eyes of public opinion and before history.

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