What is the Finnish Red Cross?

Laura Kotila
Image: Laura Kotila
Facts about Red Cross
  • 40,000 active volunteers
  • 80,000 members
  • 100,000 regular contributors
  • 132,000 blood donors each year
Seven Fundamental Principles

The operations of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent are guided by seven Fundamental Principles:

  • humanity
  • impartiality
  • neutrality
  • independence
  • voluntary service
  • universality
  • unity.

The Finnish Red Cross is one of the largest civic organisations in Finland. The objective of the Finnish Red Cross is to help those who need it most both in Finland and abroad.

The mission: to help people and defend the weakest

The Red Cross helps when a catastrophe or an accident occurs and trains people to be prepared. The organisation encourages people to look after their own well-being and to take care of each other.

Operating in Finland and all over the world

Operations of the Finnish Red Cross:

In addition, the Finnish Red Cross helps victims of natural disasters and wars and also participates in development cooperation around the world


The worldwide organisation is led by its members

The volunteers of the Finnish Red Cross operate in their local branches. Altogether, there are over 500 branches.
The branch volunteers are supported by the employees of twelve district offices. The districts organise training sessions and events for the volunteers in their districts, providing them with an opportunity to share experiences, learn new skills and gain additional motivation for volunteer work.
The volunteer work and aid activities of the Red Cross are coordinated at the national level by the Headquarters. Its responsibilities include development of the organisation’s operations, cooperation with authorities, national campaigns (such as the Operation Hunger Day) and international aid. In addition, the Headquarters is responsible for the official comments of the Finnish Red Cross and pursues the promotion of the organisation’s values in Finnish decision-making.
The highest decision-making authority is the general assembly. The representatives are elected by the members, and the assembly convenes every three years. The general assembly elects the Board and other organs of trust that direct the organisation’s operations.
  • President (2014-): Pertti Torstila
  • Secretary General (2004-): Kristiina Kumpula

The Finnish Red Cross, along with the other 191 local Red Cross and Red Crescent organisations, provides aid around the world.

The Finnish Red Cross is one of the 192 member organisations of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The IFRC is the cooperative body of the national Red Cross and Red Crescent organisations. It leads the organisation’s aid operations in peacetime disasters, such as natural catastrophes. It also manages the organisation’s development cooperation and develops the operations of national organisations.
The International Committee of the Red Cross leads the organisation’s aid operations during wars and conflicts. It acts as a neutral mediator in conflicts, traces missing family members and visits prisoners of war as well as other conflict detainees. In addition, the Committee oversees the compliance with the Geneva Conventions.
The Finnish Red Cross is an association acknowledged by the State of Finland and governed by public law whose activities are based on the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and on the Act on the Finnish Red Cross (238/2000). The Finnish Red Cross is obliged to support authorities in various emergencies.


Board of the Finnish Red Cross 2020–2023

Ms Elli Aaltonen

Vice presidents
Ms Ann-Mari Audas-Willman
Ms Laura Musta
Mr Harri Virta

Members of the board
Ms Outi Forsblom
Mr Harri Jokiranta
Ms Katja Kuusela
Ms Marju Pihlajamaa
Mr Jarno Rasinkangas
Ms Ruut Rissanen

  • Eija Karine

    Hannu Harri,

Mika Jouhki

The Finnish donors and the global network of the Red Cross make it possible for the Finnish Red Cross to conduct efficient aid operations.