COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Red Cross targets multinationals for humanitarian talks

The Red Cross is talking to companies operating in conflict zones in order to promote its humanitarian message.

Until now, the organisation has worked solely with governments or warring factions in promoting its cause. But it now feels the influence of multinationals can no longer be ignored and so has entered in dialogue with some corporations.

The new policy gives the international arm of the Red Cross an additional avenue through which to pursue its mission of protecting the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence.

International Committee of the Red Cross spokeswoman Antonella Notari said: "We are working in conflict areas where big companies are either present or operate and we feel they should be aware of humanitarian concerns and help us promote humanitarian law and activities."

She added that in many cases, large companies were more able to influence the situation on the ground than governments.

Around 20 multinationals are believed to be taking part.

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