International Committee of the Red Cross

Facts

ICRC logotype

Comité international de la Croix Rouge (International Committee of the Red Cross)
The Nobel Peace Prize 1917

Founded: 1863

Prize motivation: “for the efforts to take care of wounded soldiers and prisoners of war and their families”

Prize share: 1/1

Also awarded: The Nobel Peace Prize 1944, The Nobel Peace Prize 1963

Protecting and helping soldiers and civilians wounded in war

The International Committee of the Red Cross was founded in 1863 on the initiative of the Swiss Henry Dunant, Peace Prize Laureate in 1901. It consisted - and still consists - exclusively of Swiss nationals. In the following year, the first Geneva Convention was adopted, “for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field”.

The organization's symbol, the red cross on a white background, was to protect both friend and enemy. In the years that followed, more and more states joined and set up national committees. The leadership exercised by the Swiss Red Cross committee won broad recognition, although it had no international mandate.

In 1906 the Geneva Convention was extended to apply also to war at sea. When World War I broke out in 1914, the International Committee of the Red Cross faced a huge task. It not only upheld the principles of the Geneva Convention, but also undertook to protect the interests of prisoners of war.

To cite this section
MLA style: The International Committee of the Red Cross. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2022. Wed. 6 Jul 2022. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1917/red-cross/facts/>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.

Play a game!

The Red Cross Movement

Can people behave as they like during times of war? No, they can't. In this game, your mission as a camp commander is to run a prisoner of war camp without violating any human rights. You must follow the humanitarian standards outlined in the Third Geneva Convention. Have a try!

pow-educational-games.jpg