Peter Maurer: Why the Red Cross talks to ‘terrorists’ – Talk to Al Jazeera

Providing aid to people in war zones has always been a challenging task. Humanitarian groups and organisations have to deal with difficult circumstances, governments and increasingly with non-state actors.

One such organisation is the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC). Its role is stipulated by the Geneva Conventions that dates back to 1864.

They are a set of rules that detail what is allowed and not allowed during warfare, and the conventions have expressly given the ICRC an important role to play: to assist people in war, to preserve their dignity and their lives.

But this role has come at a price. To fulfil its mission, the Red Cross has to work with states and actors no matter how brutal their actions are. So how do they do it? What makes the ICRC different from other humanitarian groups?

On Talk to Al Jazeera, we sit down with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, to discuss its mission, the challenges it faces, and how to stay neutral in the face of armed conflict.

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