Working with business
We worked with more than 20 companies, professional services firms and other relevant business and human rights actors on International Humanitarian Law action plans for the private sector. Rather than targeting Corporate Social Responsibility, sustainability or governance areas, we now target companies' Security and Risk areas.
With the help of humanitarian sector players, we identified that organisations are interested in the concept of International Humanitarian Law Best Practice and that we need to strengthen the evidence base for this concept.
As a result of advocacy by the Red Cross, the ASX Corporate Governance Council's Principles and Recommendations were amended to include a reference to the Laws of War.
Promoting the laws of war
We worked to develop a mobilisation strategy on raising awareness of nuclear weapons among young professionals to prompt action, resulting in the co-design of scalable social media-based campaign tools.
Our campaign to prohibit the use of nuclear weapons and promote the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons continued. We wrote to all members of parliament, ran briefings for parliamentarians and published an opinion piece in Melbourne’s Herald Sun reaching a readership of around a million people.
Since September 2018, we have been delivering an interactive training module on the Laws of War for new staff and volunteers. Externally, we delivered training for the Australian Defence Force and regional militaries, Australian public servants through the Diplomatic Academy at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, universities and the humanitarian sector.
We redesigned the state and territory International Humanitarian Law Advisory Committees and reimagined volunteering with our International Humanitarian Law program. We recruited 69 expert volunteers from stakeholder groups to seven state and territory committees. In addition each of the seven committees include a representative from the Australian Defence Force, a representative from the state or territory Divisional Advisory Board and a representative from the state or territory Youth Advisory Committee.
The committees are supporting us to fulfil our mandate of disseminating the Laws of War (with a particular focus on the general public) and performing a critical advisory function for the International Humanitarian Law Program.
In the first example of national collaboration under this framework, we drew on their expertise to analyse how the Laws of War might apply to the action in seasons 1 to 7 of Game of Thrones. They also completed a week-by-week analysis of season 8 of the show, highlighting fictitious examples of war crimes. The concept received huge coverage domestically and was adapted for audiences around the world by others in the international Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.
The story was the most viewed web article we’ve ever published, and globally, the initiative resulted in more than 350 media mentions across print, online, radio and TV with a cumulative reach of more than 6.5 million people
Supporting our movement to be strong
We are part of the global Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. We worked with our colleagues around the world on disasters, migration, the humanitarian impacts of climate change, reconnecting families separated by war and campaigning for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
As part of the GLOW Red Network of Senior Women Leaders in the Movement, we continue to support more women to be elected into leadership and governance functions.
A global, coordinated approach to responding to the vulnerabilities of migrants
In the first half of the year we sought to influence the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
We made significant contribution to a strong final document adopted by 164 States. The Global Compact for Migration is the first global agreement around safe migration and will provide access to protection and assistance to at least 244 million people worldwide. The final document included all the key elements we advocated for during the negotiation phase, as well as a specific mention of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement as a key implementing partner.
We continued to be a strong member of the Red Cross Red Crescent Global Migration Taskforce. We advocated for and supported holding an additional meeting of the taskforce to coincide with "Migration Week", the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration, and other events in December. This resulted in new partnerships and media coverage of the issues we were highlighting and provided greater recognition of the role of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in support vulnerable migrants.
The Global Migration Taskforce and Australian Red Cross contributed significantly to the development of IFRC’s Strategy 2030 and as a result, migration is one of the top five issues of concern for the new strategy.
We continued to support the Asia Pacific Migration Network, which now engages 35 National Societies in the region to work together on migration issues. We are co-chair and Secretariat, and in the past year we focused on linking expertise and interests of National Societies and Movement partners. This was a key priority the network and the IFRC Global Migration Strategy.
The network, and the representatives on it from Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, are increasingly engaging in discussions on supporting victims of trafficking in the region. In the past year, this meant we were able to work more closely with regional platforms for collaboration in the region such as the Bali Process and take part in regional training on trafficking.
We also took a leadership role in advocating for migration to be a key issue at the Red Cross Red Crescent Council of Delegates and the 33rd International Conference to be held in Geneva in December 2019.
In addition, we continued to engage and provide expertise to global and regional taskforces, meetings and working groups. We influence and share our knowledge on protection, missing migrants, immigration detention, restoring family links, trafficking, data protection, and migrant and refugee settlement.