Statement on the suspension of the Peruvian Red Cross as a member of the IFRC
Geneva, Switzerland, August 12, 2022 – The board of directors of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has voted to suspend the membership of the Peruvian Red Cross. This extraordinary decision, which takes effect today, comes after the Red Cross Society was unable to take the necessary steps to remove the president of the Peruvian Red Cross from his position of power and resolve its institutional crisis.
The suspension follows a months-long investigation into the Peruvian Red Cross. The IFRC’s Compliance and Mediation Committee conducted a thorough investigation into the accusations and provided detailed reports that confirm the abuses of power by the president of the Peruvian Red Cross. The committee recommended a mediation process and the removal of the president of the Peruvian Red Cross, neither of which materialized.
The decision also means that the president of the Peruvian Red Cross is sanctioned not to hold any leadership position at the IFRC.
Transparency and integrity are essential to achieving the mission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. This is why the IFRC, the largest humanitarian network in the world, has implemented protocols to sanction individuals and National Societies who do not respect its principles. Although rare, these decisions end up strengthening the mission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
Announcing the decision, Francesco Rocca, President of the IFRC, said:
“Suspending Red Cross Society membership is not a decision we take lightly. After many efforts to arbitrate the situation – and after an investigation found abuse of power by the president – we have no choice. We have an obligation to ensure that the governance of the Peruvian Red Cross takes the necessary steps to rebuild.
“Let me emphasize that the IFRC’s commitment to the Peruvian people remains strong. The IFRC will ensure that this decision does not compromise Red Cross support to communities in need.
“Peruvian Red Cross volunteers work tirelessly to help communities prepare for and respond to crises. While their vital activities have been hampered by these administrative challenges, the IFRC hopes this decision will help them move forward in achieving our mission.
The IFRC will help develop a transition plan to ensure that services to vulnerable communities do not suffer.
The IFRC has recommended to the Peruvian Red Cross Institute an action plan to deal with its institutional crisis, which includes the following elements:
- Establish a transparent process for the hiring of an Executive Director in accordance with the Peruvian Red Cross statutes and regulations;
- Hold branch-level elections in a timely manner;
- Revise the statutes of the Peruvian Red Cross through an inclusive process in consultation with the branches and members of the Council;
- Hold elections at the national level once the revised statutes of the Peruvian Red Cross have been approved in a timely manner and as agreed between the National Society and the IFRC; and
- Put in place an action plan to respond to the recommendations of the audit report produced for the years 2017-2019.
The IFRC will lift the suspension if and when the Peruvian Red Cross takes the necessary steps to comply with the recommendations and begins to implement an action plan to restore its integrity.
The IFRC remains committed to supporting the renewal of an effective, vibrant and sustainable Peruvian Red Cross and encourages Peruvian Red Cross volunteers and members to remain engaged in the renewal of their National Society.
In the Americas: Susana Arroyo Barrantes – Communications Manager Americas, [email protected]
In Geneva: Jenelle Eli – Media Relations – [email protected]