International Committee of the Red Cross
Who we are
What we do
Where we work
War & Law
Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
Treaties and Documents
Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocols, and their Commentaries
Historical Treaties and Documents
Resolutions of the Geneva International Conference. Geneva, 26-29 October 1863.
The International Conference, desirous of coming to the aid of the wounded should the Military Medical Services prove inadequate, adopts the following Resolutions:
Article 1. Each country shall have a Committee whose duty it shall be, in time of war and if the need arises, to assist the Army Medical Services by every means in its power.
The Committee shall organize itself in the manner which seems to it most useful and appropriate.
Art. 2. An unlimited number of Sections may be formed to assist the Committee, which shall be the central directing body.
Art. 3. Each Committee shall get in touch with the Government of its country, so that its services may be accepted should the occasion arise.
Art. 4. In peacetime, the Committees and Sections shall take steps to ensure their real usefulness in time of war, especially by preparing material relief of all sorts and by seeking to train and instruct voluntary medical personnel.
Art. 5. In time of war, the Committees of belligerent nations shall supply relief to their respective armies as
far as their means permit: in particular, they shall organize voluntary personnel and place them on an active footing and, in agreement with the military authorities, shall have premises made available for the care of the wounded.
They may call for assistance upon the Committees of neutral countries.
Art. 6. On the request or with the consent of the military authorities, Committees may send voluntary medical personnel to the battlefield where they shall be placed under military command.
Art. 7. Voluntary medical personnel attached to armies shall be supplied by the respective Committees with everything necessary for their upkeep.
Art. 8. They shall wear in all countries, as a uniform distinctive sign, a white armlet with a red cross.
Art. 9. The Committees and Sections of different countries may meet in international assemblies to communicate the results of their experience and to agree on measures to be taken in the interests of the work.
Art. 10. The exchange of communications between the Committees of the various countries shall be made for the time being through the intermediary of the Geneva Committee.
Independently of the above Resolutions, the Conference makes the following Recommendations:
(a) that Governments should extend their patronage to Relief Committees which may be formed, and facilitate as far as possible the accomplishment of their task.
(b) that in time of war the belligerent nations should proclaim the neutrality of ambulances and military hospitals, and that neutrality should likewise be recognized, fully and absolutely, in respect of official medical personnel, voluntary medical personnel, inhabitants of the country who go to the relief of the wounded, and the wounded themselves;
(c) that a uniform distinctive sign be recognized for the Medical Corps of all armies, or at least for all persons of the same army belonging to this Service; and, that a uniform flag also be adopted in all countries for ambulances and hospitals.
Who we are
What we do
Where we work
War & law
Working for the ICRC
Doing business with the ICRC
Israel and the occupied territories
Global Partnership for Humanitarian Impact and Innovation
Republic of Korea (Korean)
Humanitarian law and policy
L'humanitaire dans tous ses états (French)
Somalia (English and Somali)
© International Committee of the Red Cross