Choices More Ethical Than Legal: The International Committee of the Red Cross and Human Rights [Abstract]

Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 7 (1993)

December 3, 1993

It may come as a surprise to many that the ICRC was the first agency established representing the International Red Cross and Red Crescent network to protect and assist victims of war and victims of politics. This article explores the ineffective consequences of international laws overseeing such victims and argues that proper implementation of these laws requires policy, without which laws can never be executed. ICRC has often coordinated relief for victims in such places as Somalia and Bosnia, in fact more than all the UN agencies combined, when the rest of the world was still ignoring them. When law is silent, and often during war time it is, human rights policies must be built on ethical choice.

 

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