IRRC No. 273
The meaning of the word “humanitarian” in relation to the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
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It has rightly been said that the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement does not stand for any specific philosophy or moral doctrine. Neither the fundamental principles nor international humanitarian law (IHL) provide a methodical interpretation of human nature or an inventory of the moral rights and obligations of the Movement's members. The Movement adheres to no particular ideology or political system. On the contrary, its universality enables it, with varying degrees of success, to adapt to or even influence various political regimes or tendencies in order to promote humanitarian aims. This ability can be attributed in particular to its respect for the principle of neutrality.