Blue Shield Australia is a member of the international committee of the Blue Shield set up in 1996 to work to protect the world’s cultural heritage threatened by disasters of all types.
The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) and its affiliated national committees (such as Blue Shield Australia) work together as the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross internationally.
The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS)
Following the Second World War, UNESCO adopted the Hague Convention (1954) which created rules to protect cultural goods during armed conflicts. This Convention was the first international treaty aimed at protecting cultural heritage in the context of war and which highlighted the concept of common heritage.
The Blue Shield is the symbol used to identify cultural sites protected by this Convention. It is also the name of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) that works to protect world cultural heritage threatened by natural and human-made disasters.
The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) covers museums and archives, audiovisual supports, libraries, and monuments and sites. It brings together the knowledge, experience and international networks of the following non-governmental organisations dealing with cultural heritage:
- ICA: International Council on Archives
- ICOM: International Council of Museums
- IFLA: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
- ICOMOS: International Council on Monuments and Sites
- CCAAA: Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations
Blue Shield is the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross. It is an international committee, working to protect the world's cultural heritage threatened by armed conflict and natural disasters.