The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance.
The ICRC also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. Since its first activities with prisoners of war in 1870, the ICRC takes action whenever it can to improve the treatment and conditions of people deprived of their liberty.
The overall aim of the ICRC’s work in detention and noticeably its Health Care in Detention (HCD) programme is to protect the life and health of people in detention. It acts to ensure that detaining authorities respect detainees’ dignity and their right to receive health care at all stages of their detention.
By promoting adequate health care in places of detention, we help improve the health of the wider community. The HCD programme operates in more than 60 countries.