Welcome to the website of the Swiss Red Cross (SRC). Here you will find some basic information about the SRC in English. For further information please consult the German or French pages or contact the SRC offices directly.
The Swiss Red Cross (SRC) is a private organization that also carries out public tasks on a mandate from the Swiss government or the cantonal authorities. As a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which has its headquarters in Geneva, it is part of a worldwide network of 188 National Societies. The purpose of the SRC’s activities is to protect the lives, health and dignity of human beings.
The Swiss Red Cross comprises the SRC headquarters in Bern, 24 cantonal associations, 5 corporate members and 3 institutions. The strength of this humanitarian group lies in its diversity and broad scope, combined with its close links to the Swiss population. The SRC is a neutral and independent organization and is the only recognized Red Cross society in Switzerland.
Cantonal associations: The cantonal Red Cross associations can count on thousands of volunteers who provide services for the elderly and the handicapped. Other services provided by the associations help social integration too. The SRC courses given by the cantonal associations impart useful knowledge about nursing and health care.
First aid and rescue operations: First aid and rescue operations are carried out by the SRC corporate members, the Swiss First Aid Association, the Swiss Life-Saving Society, the Swiss Disaster Dogs Association (REDOG) and the Swiss Air-Rescue Service (REGA).
Red Cross Service: The SRC has been commissioned by the Swiss government to lend support to the army medical services of the Swiss army. The Red Cross Service recruits and trains women volunteers who are prepared to work in military hospitals in emergencies, in particular to provide nursing services.
Blood transfusion service: The Swiss government has also commissioned the SRC to supply the country with blood and blood products. Its blood transfusion service is based on donations given free of charge by volunteer donors.
Vocational training: Under an agreement with the cantonal authorities, the SRC is in charge of providing training in 16 paramedical health-care professions which it regulates, supervises and promotes.
International cooperation: Internationally the SRC is active in a large number of development programmes. First and foremost it endeavours to improve the health-care provision for vulnerable sectors of the world’s population. In doing so it generally works in cooperation with National Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies. In some countries in Asia and Africa it strengthens the local National Societies. In emergency situations it supports rescue operations run by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation. It is often involved in reconstruction projects.
Tracing Service and Restoring Family Links: The SRC Tracing Service helps people find their missing family members and get into contact with them. In Switzerland the Tracing Service cooperates with the public authorities and various other organizations. In other countries it can rely on the support of the worldwide Restoring Family Links network of the Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement.
Asylum: The Swiss Red Cross, one of the relief organizations recognized by the Swiss government, has been commissioned by the cantons of Uri and Glarus to work in the asylum sector. The SRC provides social assistance to asylum-seekers, those temporarily granted asylum and recognized refugees. The SRC is also involved in a few returnee projects, i.e. for those who have been detained pending deportation.
The Swiss Red Cross. In the name of humanity
Portrait Swiss Red Cross (PDF, 68 KB)
Organisation of the Swiss Red Cross (PDF, 68 KB)
Swiss Red Cross: Our Activities (PDF, 129 KB)
Worldwide Commitment (PDF, 215 KB)
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (PDF, 41 KB)
Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement (PDF, 41 KB)
In the Aftermath of War and Torture
Account numbers for international bank transfers for foreign aid