The ICRC was established in 1863, works worldwide to provide humanitarian help for people affected by conflict and armed violence and to promote the laws that protect victims of war. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, it employs some 12,000 people in 80 countries; it is financed mainly by voluntary donations from governments and from national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.
The four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 (Protocol I, Protocol II) and 2005 give the ICRC a mandate to protect victims of international and internal armed conflicts. Such victims include war wounded, prisoners, refugees, civilians, and other non-combatants.
The ICRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement along with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and 189 National Societies. It is the oldest and most respected organization within the Movement and one of the most widely recognized organizations in the world, having won three Nobel Peace Prizes in 1917, 1944, and 1963.