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Promoting peace, reducing suffering

Building a movement for all humanity

Paper cranes created by young humanitarians as part of the Red Cross campaign to prohibit nuclear weapons. Photo: Louise M Cooper

Goal: Prevent and alleviate human suffering in times of war and conflict and promote non-violence and peace

Australian attitudes and behaviours strongly reflect humanitarian values

100% of Australian organisations working in conflict zones have implemented an IHL action plan

We have contributed directly to the Movement’s increased impact in migration, disaster risk reduction, ensuring respect for IHL, the elimination of nuclear weapons and health care in danger

Doing responsible business in armed conflict

We significantly increased our efforts to help the private sector engage with International Humanitarian Law (IHL) being incorporated in deployment or security training for three Australian corporates.

In partnership with RMIT University, we published ‘Doing Responsible Business in Armed Conflict’, as a tool to assist the Australian private sector to identify and understand their risks, rights and responsibilities under IHL.

We launched this tool in June, when Red Cross was invited by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to participate in a panel discussion on ‘Implementing the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights’ as a side event to the UN Virtual Forum on Responsible Business and Human Rights.

Promoting the laws of war

We continued to build our community of IHL volunteers, expanded our Community Speakers Networks from VIC to NSW, WA, QLD and the ACT, and stood up Community Engagement Networks to support our IHL Advisory Committees in most states and territories.

The IHL Advisory Committees held events across the country. Our series to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 was attended by almost 500 people nationwide.

We supported global campaigns on Healthcare in Danger and nuclear weapons.

Fortnightly, our IHL e-newsletter kept our Australian audience up to date with the latest on IHL and armed conflict and the status of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. At the invitation of the Australian Ambassador, we joined ICAN to brief the diplomatic corps on the value of the treaty. Our paper on ‘The Red Cross Case for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons’ was included in the ICAN report Choosing Humanity - why Australia must join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Increasing impact in migration

Our leadership and technical expertise have contributed to improved global and regional approaches to protection, monitoring immigration detention, supporting victims of trafficking, and Restoring Family Links.

We’ve made significant contributions to IFRC’s approach to the Global Refugee Forum and implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, in particular through developing further guidance on the concept of Humanitarian Service Points to ensure access to humanitarian assistance and protection for migrants.

We’ve also supported the Movement’s response to migration through the Asia Pacific Migration Network, strengthening our engagement and capacity with our peers.

In response to COVID-19 we provided technical support to National Societies, drafted a global IFRC report on access to essential services for migrants during this pandemic, and created virtual peer-to-peer engagement opportunities.