The ICRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement along with the International Federation and 189 National Societies. It is the oldest and most honoured organization within the Movement and one of the most widely recognized organizations in the world, having won three Nobel Peace Prizes in 1917, 1944, and 1963.
Since its creation in 1863, the ICRC’s sole objective has been to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and strife. It does so through its direct action around the world, as well as by encouraging the development of international humanitarian law (IHL) and promoting respect for it by governments and all weapon bearers. Its story is about the development of humanitarian action, the Geneva Conventions and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
The International Committee of the Red Cross met for the first time in February 1863 in Geneva, Switzerland. Among its five members was a local man named Henry Dunant who, the year before, had published a crusading book (A Souvenir of Solferino) calling for improved care for wounded soldiers in wartime.