The Code of Conduct
Principles of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Response Programmes
The Code underpins good humanitarian practice
It is not about operational details, such as how to calculate food rations or set up a refugee camp. Rather, it seeks to maintain high standards in disaster response.
The 10 Principles of Conduct for Disaster Response
- apply to any NGO - national or international, small or large;
- seek to guard our standards of behaviour;
- are voluntary and self-policing;
- can be used by governments, donors, and NGOs around the world, as a yardstick against which to judge the conduct of those agencies with which they work.
Disaster-affected communities have a right to expect those who seek to assist them to measure up to these standards
- The Humanitarian imperative (to provide immediate aid to people whose survival is threatened) comes first.
- Aid is given regardless of the race, creed or nationality of the recipients, and without adverse distinction of any kind. Aid priorities are calculated on the basis of need alone.
- Aid will not be used to further a particular political or religious standpoint.
- We shall endeavour not to act as instruments of government foreign policy.
- We shall respect culture and custom.
- We shall attempt to build disaster response on local capacities.
- Ways shall be found to involve programme beneficiaries in the management of relief aid.
- Relief aid must strive to reduce future vulnerabilities to disaster as well as meeting basic needs.
- We hold ourselves accountable to both those we seek to assist and those from whom we accept resources.
- In our information, publicity, and advertising activities, we shall recognise disaster victims as dignified human beings, not hopeless objects.
In the event of armed conflict, the Code of Conduct will be interpreted and applied in conformity with international humanitarian law.
This page was last updated on 12 September 2012