PH Red Cross commemorates Battle of Solferino; Gordon says law of war highly relevant today

In the Philippines, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has become the foremost humanitarian organization, responding to people affected by natural and human-induced hazards, including armed conflict. Today, June 24, 2023, the PRC commemorates the origin of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) Societies and its role in war and armed conflict. The idea of a voluntary relief organization that will protect people affected by war and armed conflict was born in the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino, in Italy, which happened 164 years ago today.

“This beautiful show of solidarity with fellow humans in times of distress is not new to the Red Cross. It is the reason the Red Cross was founded. Rumesponde kami sa Marawi Conflict noong 2017 at sa Zamboanga Stand Off noong 2013. Tumulong kami para maprotektahan ang mga karapatan ng mga tao sa panahon ng digmaan,” said Gordon.

“The law of war is as relevant today as it was after the Second World War,” Gordon added.

On June 24, 1859, a young man by the name of Henry Dunant witnessed the ravages of the Battle of Solferino. Thousands died and tens of thousands were wounded. Together with volunteers, Dunant helped care for the injured from both sides, upholding their human dignity.

Dunant’s personal knowledge of the effects of war compelled him to advocate for the creation of a neutral and impartial organization that would protect and assist people affected by war. His advocacy led to the establishment of the Geneva Conventions, in 1949, after the Second World War. The Geneva Conventions are the foundation of international humanitarian law, also known as the law of war or the law of armed conflict.


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