The foundation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1863 by Henry Dunant (1828-1910) put a new stamp on Geneva as the humanitarian capital of the world. On 24 June 2015 students enrolled in the History and Art of Switzerland course (Global Citizenship Program) visited the International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent opposite the United Nations.
Dr. Maryvelma O’Neil explained, "The ICRC is an independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. It takes action in response to emergencies and at the same time promotes respect for international humanitarian law and its implementation in national law.”
Within the museum we saw how this mission statement has played out by means of creative and interactive displays that bear witness to the ICRC’s work to prevent, relieve and attend to human suffering across the globe, to uphold international humanitarian law and to defend human dignity.
It was eye-opening and deeply moving to visit a world class museum that is devoted to the “power of humanity” which is constituted, as the students learned, by the “strength of individual commitment and the force of collective power.”