By the end of 2016, over 65.6 million people worldwide were uprooted from their homes by conflict and persecution. Not only has this resulted in human suffering for those fleeing, but it has also created an important burden on host countries.

At this year’s meeting of the ISO Committee on developing country matters (DEVCO), guest speakers from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Lebanese foreign ministry explored whether ISO’s standards setting expertise could support the development of solutions for humanitarian work.

ISO standards are regularly used in the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross

Missing people and the Red Cross

“It will not come as a surprise that ISO standards are regularly used in the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC),” said Prof. Jürg Kesselring, Chairman of the ICRC MoveAbility Board at the DEVCO meeting. The event, which brings together ISO members from around the world, explores how the ISO community can better support developing country needs and its members from developing countries.

Standards are helping the ICRC to improve efficiency and outreach, according to Prof. Kesselring. “When a product, activity or service meets ISO standards, there is a general expectation that it will be delivering what is expected from it. This applies to relief items, manufacturing, record management systems, hospital design, engineering, etc.” He highlighted, as an example, the series of ISO standards on societal security, which can be applied to mass evacuation and community resilience – subjects which are important to the ICRC. “In health or forensic fields,” he added, “authorities often refer to validation and routine control done in accordance with ISO standards in order to show the seriousness of their processes.”

>> Read complete article: Missing persons and refugees – a new target for standardization? |

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