Auxiliary to Government
There are over 185 countries that have a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society. Each National Red Cross Society is recognized by their respective governments as “auxiliaries to public Authorities in the humanitarian field” based on the Geneva Conventions.
The Canadian Red Cross, as are all Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies, is formed in legislation, and as such, is not classified as a non-governmental organization (NGO). The Red Cross’ relationship with government is specific and distinct, in that a public authority (municipal, provincial or federal) may request action from the Red Cross. The Red Cross has the right to refuse to participate in any activity that conflicts with the Fundamental Principles or the Statutes of the Red Cross Movement.
As the mission of the Canadian Red Cross Society is “to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world”, it is to the benefit of Canadians that the Society works with public authorities at every level of government.
In 2008, the Canadian Red Cross completed a wide-ranging public consultation process, supported by a contribution agreement with Public Safety Canada, to explore the status and future of the Canadian Red Cross’ role as auxiliary to government in the humanitarian field.
The findings of the consultation process show that the Society’s auxiliary role is a strategic asset to civil society particularly in the contribution to the planning and delivery of disaster management and risk reduction activities, social services programs and programming in the area of health and injury prevention.
- “Partnering to Build a Resilient Civil Society” (PDF, 1.4mb) – final report and recommendations of the Auxiliary to Government project. September, 2008