Seven people in Red Cross gear putting up a tent.

Code of Ethics

Photo: Anni Koponen / Suomen Punainen Risti

Everything that we do at the Red Cross – as volunteers, employees or elected officials – has a bearing on what sort of an organisation the Red Cross is and how others see it. That is why we must all shoulder the responsibility of ensuring our work is ethical.

Realising the purpose of the organisation requires that all those working in the organisation act in accordance with its values and principles and are aware of their own responsibility in maintaining the trustworthiness of the organisation.

The Code of Conduct illustrates the values, responsibility and attitude towards work required by the Finnish Red Cross’ operations. They reinforce unity within the Red Cross and the identity of all those operating in the organisation as part of a unique humanitarian movement.

The Finnish Red Cross Code of Ethics for personnel

The purpose of the Finnish Red Cross is, in all conditions, to protect life and health, defend human dignity and human rights, promote co-operation and peace between nations, save human lives in and outside Finland, help those in the most disadvantaged position to prevent and alleviate human suffering, support and assist public authorities in times of both peace and war and armed conflict in order to promote people’s well-being, promote solidarity and willingness to help among citizens, increase understanding towards the Red Cross’ work and universal efforts, and affirm the organisation’s readiness and operational capacity.

We commit to an operating culture in accordance with the principles of the Finnish Red Cross

The operations of the Red Cross are steered by the principle of humanity. Voluntary service and universalism provide everyone with an open channel for contributing to the promotion of humanity. Our other principles – equality, neutrality, independence and unity – make it possible to provide help and support in as many different situations and conditions as possible. Read more about our principles

All Red Cross employees working for our various units from central administration to district offices, branches, Punainen Risti Ensiapu Oy, the Kontti chain of stores, youth shelters and the Blood Service are committed to our principles and Code of Ethics.

The operations of the Red Cross are steered by this Red Cross Code of Ethics, which each employee is committed to. The code is reviewed at the start of employment in connection with orientation:

I will act respectfully and constructively

  • I will treat my colleagues, customers and interest group representatives equally and respectfully.
  • I will value the opinions and insight of others, and I will treat people fairly.
  • I will not condone harassment, abuse or discrimination, and I will report any observations of such behaviour. Further information: The Red Cross policy against sexual harassment and abuse
  • I will share my knowledge and skills with others and work together constructively.

I will protect the organisation’s reputation and integrity

  • I will only use the Finnish Red Cross’ facilities and equipment for their intended purpose and for activities that comply with the organisation’s principles.
  • I will strive to reduce environmental damage and take the goals of sustainable development into consideration in my actions.
  • I will comply with the organisation’s guidelines regarding social media and observe good manners in all of my communications.
  • I acknowledge that bringing guns, ammunition and other gun-like items to the Red Cross’ premises, training facilities and vehicles is explicitly forbidden based on the Geneva Conventions.

I will use the Red Cross symbol appropriately

The red cross and the equivalent red crescent and red crystal are international protection symbols used in war and conflict situations to secure medical care and aid. The Red Cross movement also has the right to use the symbol in its own operations. Using the symbol is governed by the Geneva Conventions and Finnish law.
Read more about how to use the protection symbol

I will stand against misconduct and corruption

Transparency and honesty are requirements for the ethical, financial and social sustainability of the Finnish Red Cross’ operations. We will not condone any misconduct, but intervene swiftly and purposefully.

Misconduct refers to intentional acts to achieve financial gain with methods that are illegal or otherwise fraudulent. Corruption refers to exploitative abuse of authority to achieve personal gain as well as bribery. Reporting any instances of misconduct or corruption is the right and obligation of every Finnish Red Cross representative, and no negative consequences must fall upon the reporting party.

  • I will act honestly and not favour my loved ones or other individuals or communities in my activities. I will not condone any misconduct, bribery or corruption. I will ensure that gifts cannot be interpreted as bribes and practice moderation in hospitality and expressing gratitude.
  • I will not seek personal gain from agreements with suppliers of goods or services. I will openly bring up any personal connections with suppliers of goods or services or other potential co-operation partners.
  • I will comply with good administrative practice, internal control and anti-corruption guidelines.
  • I will contribute to the transparency and responsibility of the operations.

​If an employee observes breaches of the code of conduct, they must immediately report the matter to their supervisor or the director in charge of the operation, who must then process the report appropriately or report any suspected misconduct to the internal auditor of the Finnish Red Cross.

Report any suspected irregularities regarding cases of misconduct or unethical activities within the Red Cross. These can include e.g. unethical, fraudulent, suspicious, dishonest, illegal or negligent activity or behaviour by a member of staff.

Reporting channels in the event of breach of the Code of Conduct

The operations of the Red Cross are steered by seven fundamental principles.
The operations of the Red Cross are steered by seven fundamental principles.
Ethical and responsible Red Cross
Ethical and responsible Red Cross