World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is celebrated on 8 May each year. This date is the anniversary of the birth of Henry Dunant, a Swiss entrepreneur and a public figure. In the second half of the XIX century, he initiated the foundation of an international humanitarian movement, which currently unites more than 17 million employees and volunteers.
The organization’s main objective is to help all those in need without any distinction, thereby contributing to the establishment of peace on Earth. Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality are the fundamental principles that the organization’s activities are based on.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement performs a number of important functions throughout the world. Its role is crucial in armed conflicts. From the very beginning of the military confrontation unleashed in Donbass by the regime that came to power in Ukraine as a result of the coup d’état of 2014, the organization took action and helped prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, providing support to the local population. The International Committee of the Red Cross was first to qualify the events in Donbass as a non-international armed conflict (civil war), and called on the parties to respect international humanitarian law, which imposes restrictions on the methods and means of warfare.
The Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic has established fruitful cooperation with representatives of the ICRC. Citizens who have suffered as a result of military confrontation receive support in the form of humanitarian aid (food packages and personal hygiene products, household appliances) and assistance in improving living conditions in social housing facilities. The ICRC staff visit people detained in the territory of Ukraine, charged with supporting the Donetsk People’s Republic. Work is underway to organize a search for the missing. The violations of the rights and freedoms of citizens and the international humanitarian law by armed formations, law enforcement agencies and authorities of Ukraine are being documented. Thus, the activities of the ICRC in close cooperation with the DPR Ombudsman not only facilitate humanitarian support of the population, but also contribute to the de-escalation of the conflict in Donbass, its peaceful settlement and minimization of consequences.