Our International Network

Blue Shield International is an international organisation advocating the protection of cultural heritage during armed conflict, natural disasters and other large-scale emergencies. It is the international 'roof' for all affiliated national associations.

Blue Shield was founded in 1996 by four major international organisations focusing on the protection of archives (ICA), libraries (IFLA), monuments (ICOMOS) and museums (ICOM), then under the name International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS). Blue Shield has its official seat at the Hague.

Legally, Blue Shield International is grounded on the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict which was adopted at the Hague in 1954, as well as the Convention's two protocols adopted in 1954 and 1997 respectively. Since the adoption of the Convention, the issue of cultural property protection has been further recognised and integrated in the humanitarian international law.

The emblem of the 1954 Hague Convention is the blue and white shield. It serves the marking of monuments and buildings housing significant heritage objects which are under the protection of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. That is why the emblem was chosen by Blue Shield International, and thus by its affiliated national committees to symbolize its cause.

Although the organisation considers the protection of cultural heritage during armed conflict as a key mission due to its history, the organisation also supports a number of other initiatives and international movements intended to preserve cultural heritage and the communities to which it belongs.

Particularly the preventive cultural property protection and its network form the foundation that allows for adequate and efficient action in times of crisis.


  • Cooperation
  • Independence
  • Neutrality
  • Professionalism
  • Respect towards cultural identity
  • Work based on a non-profit ethos