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Red Cross, Red Crescent Magazine. No. 1, 2011

Red Cross, Red Crescent Magazine. No. 1, 2011

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Red Cross / Red Crescent magazine covers a range of humanitarian issues. Articles include features on the activities of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as they seek to help people around the world. The magazine is free of charge. You can find previous issues here: http://www.redcross.int/EN/mag/archives.html
Red Cross / Red Crescent magazine covers a range of humanitarian issues. Articles include features on the activities of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as they seek to help people around the world. The magazine is free of charge. You can find previous issues here: http://www.redcross.int/EN/mag/archives.html

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Published by: International Committee of the Red Cross on May 13, 2011
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Red Cross Red Crescent
ISSUE 1.2011redcrss.int
THE MAGAzINE oF THE INTERNATIoNAL
RED CROSS
AND
RED CRESCENT
MoVEMENT
The case for disaster law
Hw legislatin can help r hinder humanitarian relie 
Getting the message
Hw well are we talking — and listening — t benefciaries?
A Society stands the test
Japanese Red Crss respnds t a natin in need
Challenging sexual violence
Out
of the
shadows
 
The International Red Cross andRed Crescent Movement
 
is made up o theInternational Committee o the Red Cross (ICRC), theInternational Federation o Red Cross and Red CrescentSocieties (IFRC) and the National Societies.
The International Committee o the RedCross
is an impartial, neutral and independentrganizatin whse exclusively humanitarianmissin is t prtect the lives and dignity  victims  armed cnict and ther situatins  vilence and t prvide them with assistance.The ICRC als endeavurs t prevent suering byprmting and strengthening humanitarian lawand universal humanitarian principles. Establishedin 1863, the ICRC is at the rigin  the GenevaCnventins and the Internatinal Red Crss andRed Crescent Mvement. It directs and crdinatesthe internatinal activities cnducted by theMvement in armed cnicts and ther situatins vilence.
The International Federation o Red Crossand Red Crescent Societies
wrks n the basis the Fundamental Principles  the InternatinalRed Crss and Red Crescent Mvement t inspire,acilitate and prmte all humanitarian activitiescarried ut by its member Natinal Scieties timprve the situatin  the mst vulnerablepeple. Funded in 1919, the IFRC directs andcrdinates internatinal assistance  theMvement t victims  natural and technlgicaldisasters, t reugees and in health emergencies.It acts as the cial representative  its memberscieties in the internatinal feld. It prmtescperatin between Natinal Scieties andwrks t strengthen their capacity t carry uteective disaster preparedness, health and scialprgrammes.
The
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
 is guided by seven Fundamental Principles:
humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity
and
universality.
All Red Crss and Red Crescent activities have ne central purpse:
to help without discrimination those who suer and thus contribute to peace in the world.
International Federation ofRed Cross and Red Crescent Societies
National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
embdy the wrk and principles  theInternatinal Red Crss and Red CrescentMvement in mre than 186 cuntries. NatinalScieties act as auxiliaries t the public authrities their wn cuntries in the humanitarian feldand prvide a range  services including disasterrelie, health and scial prgrammes. Duringwartime, Natinal Scieties assist the aectedcivilian ppulatin and supprt the army medicalservices where apprpriate.
 
G
ender-based violence can occurat any time, anywhere. But itsprevalence is magniied duringemergencies because o the absenceo law and order, the lack o supportservices and the breakdown o communitynetworks. This combination leaves women— and men — extremely vulnerable.Humanitarian organizations working inconict zones or responding to naturaldisaster must make addressing gender-based violence a top priority — at theonset o any emergency.Survivors o gender-based violence needimmediate support in the orm o medi-cal care, police assistance, counselling, andlegal aid. Oten, ew o these services existbeore an emergency — and even ewerremain aterwards.Humanitarian organizations thereorecan and must do more — both beoreand ater — to ensure that these servicesexist, and that they are trained and pre-pared to support survivors in line withinternational good practice. Survivorsalso need to be aware o, and gain accessto, these services. Inormation cam-paigns and transportation support are agood start.Prevention is also critical. This is a longer-term eort that could entail media cam-paigns, positive recreational, cultural orvocational outlets that promote non-vi-olence, and integrating gender-equalitymessages into education curricula. Inemergency contexts, security patrols canimprove saety — particularly or thoseliving in camps. Prevention work must berelevant and appropriate to the local con-text or it will not be sustainable.
Guest editorial
ISSUE 1.2011
|
RED CRoSS RED CRESCENT
|
 
1
Everybody’sissue
Humanitarian organizations have an ethi-cal responsibility to address these issues.Emergencies may lead women to engagein risky behaviours such as selling sex inorder to survive and eed their children,thereby increasing the risk o gender-basedviolence. Without economic alternatives,women are also vulnerable to sexual ex-ploitation and abuse. Relie organizationsand development agencies involved inlong-term recovery must do more in termso training, zero-tolerance policies, andstrict codes o conduct to prevent this kindo abuse. Clear messaging (‘HumanitarianAid is Free!’ or example) and economicempowerment initiatives can reduce risk and expand choices. These eorts need to be local, relevant,and sustainable. Otherwise, womenmight have to travel urther or work,engage in riskier occupations, or work inunsae areas. From the onset o the emer-gency, we can support women throughvocational skills training and income-generating opportunities. We must alsodo more to ensure that women living incamps or the displaced have access tosae spaces and separate, lit, lockableacilities.We also need to remember to ask womenwhat they need. When I spoke to womenin Haiti, the rst thing they asked or wasaccess to economic opportunity. We cando more to support and protect womenworking in the inormal sector — includingsae storage or cash earned. We couldhave done much better in Haiti to provideeconomic empowerment initiatives at thevery beginning.But women are not just victims — theyare survivors who help countries recovermore quickly rom emergencies. Womencan build bridges between warringcommunities and increase communityresilience. Men are also a key part o thesolution. Not all men are perpetrators andthey need to be engaged as supportersand advocates. The Red Cross Red Crescent Movementis well placed to address gender-basedviolence in a more robust way. The Move-ment’s global reach could enable us toraise the prole o this issue, not just as a“women’s issue” but as an issue that aectseveryone in emergency settings.Humanitarian organizations are increas-ingly recognizing the severity o thisproblem. Now they need to commit realresources and expertise, attract seniorsta and experienced proessionals, andgive them the ability to act and aectchange on the ground where it is mostneeded.
By
Lina Abiraeh
Lina Abiraeh, PhD
 ,
has addressed gender-based vilencein Aghanistan, Sierra Lene, Papua New Guinea andvarius ther cuntries. She is the authr  
Gender and International Aid in Aghanistan: The Politics and Efectso Intervention
andwrked recently as crdinatr rthe Gender-Based Vilence Sub-Cluster  the UnitedNatins Ppulatin Fund/UNICEF in Haiti.
The Movement’s global reachcould enable us to raise the prole o gender-based violence — not just as a“women’s issue” but as anissue that aects everyone inemergency settings.
 Your turn
I yu wuld like t submit an pinin article rcnsideratin, please cntact the magazine at
rcrc@irc.org
. All views expressed in guest editrials arethse  the authr and nt necessarily thse  theRed Crss Red Crescent Mvement r this magazine.

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An issue of the amazing Red Cross Red Crescent Magazine.
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An issue of the amazing Red Cross Red Crescent Magazine.
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An issue of the amazing Red Cross Red Crescent Magazine.
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