National Societies act as auxiliaries to the public authorities of their own countries in the humanitarian field and provide a range of services including disaster relief, health and social programmes. During wartime, National Societies assist the affected civilian population and support the army medical services where appropriate. All National Societies must first be recognized by the ICRC, on the basis of a set of conditions for recognition, in order to become part of the Movement. Subsequently they may become members of the International Federation, the National Societies' umbrella organization.

See IFRC; Humanitarian organisations;





 LANORD Christophe, “The Legal Status of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies”, in IRRC, No. 840, December 2000, pp. 1053-1077.
LANORD Christophe, Le statut juridique des sociétés nationales de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge, Geneva, Thoiras, Éditions de la Chapelle, 1999, 545 pp.
MEYER Michael A., “Public Advocacy – Why the Red Cross and Red Crescent Should Look before it Leaps”, in IRRC, No. 315, November-December 1996, pp. 614-626.
SASSÒLI Marco, “The National Information Bureau in Aid of the Victims of Armed Conflicts”, in IRRC, No. 256, January 1987, pp. 6-24.
 “Technical Note: The Red Cross and its Role as an Auxiliary to Military Medical Services”, in IRRC, No. 234, May 1983, pp. 139-141