The ICRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement along with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and 190 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.
What was to become 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 book (A Souvenir of Solferino) calling for improved care for wounded soldiers in wartime.
By the end of the year the committee had brought together government representatives to agree on Dunant's proposal for national relief societies, to help military medical services. And in August 1864 it persuaded governments to adopt the first Geneva Convention. This treaty obliged armies to care for wounded soldiers, whatever side they were on, and introduced a unified emblem for the medical services: a red cross on a white background.
The ICRC's primary role was a coordinating one. But it gradually became more involved in field operations, as the need for a neutral intermediary between belligerents became apparent. Over the following 50 years, the ICRC expanded its work while national societies were established (the first in the German State of Württemberg in November 1863) and the Geneva Convention was adapted to include warfare at sea.
According to history