As the world’s largest humanitarian network, the American Red Cross touches the lives of more than 300 million people each year. The Red Cross provides humanitarian services to our refugee and immigrant communities by reconnecting loved ones separated by conflict, natural disaster or other humanitarian situations and by ensuring broad dissemination of humanitarian principles.
The chaos and confusion that accompany war and disaster can separate families when they need each other most. The American Red Cross, together with its global network of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the ICRC, works to locate and put people back into contact with their relatives. This important humanitarian work includes looking for family members, restoring contact, reuniting families and seeking to clarify the fate of those who remain missing. The American Red Cross also continues to provide services that reconnect Holocaust Survivors and their families, as well as track down critical documents attesting to facts lost in the fog of past and current conflict.
Nationwide, more than 80 percent of Restoring Family Links cases are initiated in other countries. Yet tens of thousands of refugees arrive in our own communities every year from countries affected by conflict. They are our neighbors and our friends.
In Massachusetts, if you are one of these individuals or know of someone seeking to locate a family member abroad please contact: MAINTL@redcross.org
Even in war there are limits. International humanitarian law, which includes the Geneva Conventions, is at the core of the global Red Cross network. It is critical to preserving a minimum of humanity in the worst of circumstances.
To spread the universal concepts of humanitarianism, the Red Cross offers an informal classroom course entitled “The Humanity in the Midst of War - Introduction to International Humanitarian Law (IHL).” This course raises awareness about the Geneva Conventions, the basic rules of international humanitarian law, and the role of the Red Cross during armed conflict. Through a hands-on approach utilizing group activities, class discussion and compelling multimedia, this course invites participants to reflect on their images and perceptions of armed conflict and to explore the powerful and fundamental concept of human dignity even in the midst of war.
The Red Cross can also help educators bring the concepts of Humanitarian law into the classroom, to inspire and engage the next generation of humanitarians. The Exploring Humanitarian Law (EHL) curriculum is an adaptable resource for teachers seeking to engage high school and college students. The curriculum’s adaptable resources give teachers easy-to-use information to make lessons about human life and dignity come alive in the classroom.
In Massachusetts, if you are interested in learning more about our International Humanitarian Law program, please contact: MAINTL@redcross.org