Too often, it is the people not involved in the fighting who suffer the most from conflict and other violence.


Wilson Mondal, Protection Delegate

Currently posted to Ethiopia, Wilson Mondal joined the ICRC in August 2012. Almost a decade on, and having worked in Nigeria, Uganda, Sudan and Sri Lanka as head of sub-delegation, he is as passionate about his job as when he started out. When Wilson moved from the Canadian Red Cross to the International Committee of the Red Cross, he admits he did not know much about the organization. His first assignment was in the Philippines in 2012, where he was put in charge of various protection activities and asked to work in close coordination with the head of the department. A major part of his work involved meeting people affected by conflict.


1.      What is it like to work for an organization such as the ICRC?

It can be incredibly humbling. Once, a young man in a place of detention told me that both he and his mother always kept me in their prayers. The boy had been separated from his family for 12 years because of his detention and we reunited them via Red Cross messages. For the old woman, it was as if her son had been born again!

Even though I came from a background of humanitarian work, there were certain challenges that could only be overcome with experience. During disaster-response operations, there were days when I had to sleep in an ICRC vehicle, survive on minimal food and water and stay in a tent for close to 20 days. None of this was easy. That is why I feel that an ideal ICRC employee must be flexible, positive and proud to be part of an organization like this. Most importantly, neutrality is a non-negotiable trait.

2.      What do you say to people who want to join our organization?

If you really want to help and work for people affected by conflict and violence, then the ICRC is the place to be. 

Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols of 1977, civilians and anyone not taking a direct part in combat may under no circumstances be attacked. Rather, they must be spared and protected. 

When our delegates are able to document violations of the law, they inform the authorities and ask them to take action to end the violations. Wherever possible, the delegates provide aid to people affected by the conflict. They also keep up a regular dialogue with all weapon-bearers, whether members of the armed forces, rebel groups, police forces, paramilitary forces or other groups. Find more about Protection activities at the ICRC by clicking here.