IRRC No. 315

Neutrality as a Fundamental Principle of the Red Gross

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The word “neutral” comes from the Latin ne-uter and means: neither one thing nor the other. An institution or a movement is neutral when it refrains from participating in a conflict or altercation and abstains from any interference. Refraining from participation and abstaining from interference can be for various reasons: it may be a question of self-preservation and self-assertion, of the judgement that good and bad, true and false are to be found on both sides, of holding back in the interests of a higher purpose or a special task. Neutrality may however have its origin in indifference, fear and cowardice. Neutrality in itself is therefore not a virtue.

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