On May 19th, 1909, the passing in Parliament of The Canadian Red Cross Society Act established the Canadian Red Cross to serve Canadians as auxiliary to Government and the public authority, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. Prior to 1909 it operated as a branch of the British Red Cross.
For more than a century, Canadians have had their own Red Cross National Society dedicated to improving the situation of the most vulnerable people in Canada and around the world.
Within Canada we focus on emergency response, first aid and water safety training, community health, family reunification, and other services in communities across the country.
Internationally, we are a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, with approximately 100 million volunteers worldwide. The movement includes the International Committee of the Red Cross, which acts as a guardian of the Geneva conventions and is tasked under international humanitarian law to protect the lives and dignity of victims caught in situations of armed conflict.
Our network is vast but our approach is simple. All Red Cross programs and activities are guided by the fundamental principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. These principles allow us to provide help immediately to whoever needs it, wherever they are, whatever their race, political beliefs, religion, social status or culture.