1859 The Battle of Solferino
More than 40 thousand wounded and dying soldiers were left on the field after the most sanguinary battle of that time. Henry Dunant was horrified at the sight – he stopped his business journey and, with the help of local women, he tried to assist the wounded.
1862 Henry Dunant: A Memory of Solferino
• to establish relief societies of volunteers in each country to care for the wounded in wartime and
• to adopt an international convention on the protection of wounded persons left on the battlefield and the medical personnel as neutral in armed conflicts.
1863 Foundation of the Red Cross
In February the Committee of Five was established (Dunant was one of its founding members). It was the predecessor of the International Committee of the Red Cross of today. (At that time its name was the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded.)
The red cross on a white ground, the reverse of the Swiss flag, was selected as the emblem of the organization which was accepted by an international conference.
1864 Geneva Convention
On the initiative of the founders a diplomatic conference was organized in Geneva between 8-28 August 1864 with the participation of 16 countries. The first Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field was signed on 22 August 1864.The international humanitarian law is based on the four Geneva Conventions of 1949.
He was a wealthy businessman born on 8 May 1828. For him helping people in need was a vital issue even as a young man. He won the Noble Peace Prize in 1901 for his activity. He died in 1910.
8 May is the World Red Cross Day.