Responding to humanitarian and protection needs of migrants and displaced people.

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Increasing migration is both a cause and consequence of some of the most significant humanitarian challenges of the modern era. In recent years, people on the move across different regions all over the world have highlighted the risks faced by migrants, especially when particularly vulnerable.

People decide to move for different reasons: fear of persecution, conflict and violence, human rights violations, poverty and lack of economic prospects, or natural disasters. Many people cross borders to find work, and an increasing number are moving as a result of climate change. People’s reasons for migrating are complex, and often a combination of a variety of these and other factors.

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has a longstanding history of working with migrants. National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies provide support to people migrating, including refugees and asylum-seekers, victims of trafficking, labour migrants and unaccompanied children, and provide life-saving and life-enhancing services to the most vulnerable such as first aid, access to health care and other essential services.

Working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), National Societies also play a crucial role in helping reunite families through restoring family links (RFL) services.

With National Societies in 190 countries and around 17 million volunteers around the world, the IFRC has a truly global presence, allowing us to support migrants at different stages of their journeys in countries of origin, transit and destination. Through our local action globally, we are uniquely placed to prevent suffering and help uphold the rights and dignity of migrants, as well as help societies to maximise the benefits of migration through social inclusion programmes. The IFRC also aims to bridge increasingly polarised views on migration, supporting migrants and host communities to work toward mutual understanding and individual and community resilience.

Our work in Migration

Policy and Strategy

Our policy work is critical to enable the Movement and National Societies address key issues in meeting migrants’ and displaced people’s needs.


We support National Societies in providing humanitarian assistance to migrants, irrespective of their legal status, addressing their most pressing needs and responding to the most vulnerable people. is a web app that provides information to migrants at times of vulnerability. Part of our community engagement and accountability programmes putting people at the centre of our response.

Smart Practices

The IFRC smart practices website allows humanitarian partners and governments to share and compare lessons, knowledge, expertise and best practices around migration, supporting a global approach to saving lives.


What would you do if your country became mired in conflict? If the only way to protect your family was to put them in danger, to put them on a boat in the middle of the night? What would you do if there was no way back?

Behind the statistics and politics are thousands of stories.

Related news

Thessaloniki, Greece
The majority of migrants in Greece have spent more than a year in similarly difficult conditions. Tents or containers are not appropriate housing in the long-term, particularly during extremes of weather. 
Salah and Abu Nidal with their families have been lucky in having been granted proper housing. They now live in the urban area of Thessaloniki in a cosy two floor apartment-house – Salah with his pregnant wife and mother-in-law and Abu Nidal with his his pregnant wife and their three children.

Some years ago, two Palestinian-Syrian men – Salah from Damascus and Abu Nidal from Homs – met for the first time in Turkey after both had escaped the war in Syria to save their families. Ever since that chance meeting the two families have been inseparable.

16 May 2017
The Tunisian Red Crescent Medenine branch currently hosts 160 migrants, who have returned from Libya and are waiting for their visas to go back home. The Tunisian city of Medenine has become a stopover for migrants who are returning from Libya after failed attempts to cross the Mediterranean into Europe.

Like many young African men, Abdoulie was dreaming of going to Europe and finding a job that would help him to provide a better life for his wife and four children.

8 May 2017

Ahlem Özdemir is a talented seamstress living in the multicultural community of Moerwijk, a diverse neighbourhood near The Hague, Netherlands. For the past 10 years, she has spent two days a week teaching migrant women how to make and alter clothes. Last year, she won the ‘Hero of The Hague’ award in the Culture category for her work.

3 May 2017

Recent additions to the migration resources library

Protecting children on the move in Bangladesh

Navigating the muddy paths and hills of the Kutupalong settlement is a daily activity for 25 year old Bangladesh Red Crescent volunteer, Tamjid Hossen Naim. He and a group of two dozen other youth volunteers provide psychosocial support to newly arriving People from Rakhine State in northern Myanmar.

29 May 2017

The Rights of Migrants in Action project, co-funded by the European Union and the IFRC, is a global initiative aimed at promoting and protecting the rights of migrants in targeted countries, migration corridors and regions, through coordinated civil society action.

2 May 2017

This poster provides information on a Red Cross hotline with the relevant telephone numbers, opening hours, available languages and more.

26 April 2017