The ICRC helps people around the world affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence, doing everything possible to protect their dignity and relieve their suffering, often together with its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners. The organisation also seeks to prevent hardship by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. As the reference organization for international humanitarian law, it develops and monitors compliance with this body of law.
The ICRC is dedicated to providing a range of life-saving activities in conflict zones, including: supplying food, safe drinking water, sanitation and shelter; providing health care; and helping to reduce the danger of mines and unexploded ordnance. It also reunites family members separated by conflict, and visits people who are detained to ensure they are treated properly. The organisation works closely with communities to understand and meet their needs, using its experience and expertise to respond quickly, impartially and without taking sides.