World Civil Defence Day

Each year on March 1st, people all over the world commemorate World Civil Defence Day. This day was declared a global holiday by the International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO) in 1990. Civil Defence Day is a moment to recognise the importance of civil defence and to honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for it. The International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO) is just a non-profit intergovernmental organisation that helps people grow and stay safe while protecting facilities and the environment. The ICDO is referred to by all of these terms. The ICDO has 59 members and offers as many training courses as possible to strengthen the human resource management of those countries’ civil defence forces.

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History of World Civil Defence Day

During times of conflict, the issue of civil population security becomes even more essential. French Surgeon General George Saint Paul founded the Association of “Geneva Zones” in France’s Paris on May 28th, 1931, making him the first to think of the concept. As a result, he devised the vision of making safe areas or neutral areas where people, mostly women, children, the elderly, and the sick and disabled, may seek refuge during a war. When the Spanish Civil War erupted in 1936, the Association advocated for refugee camps to be established in China, as well as in France during WWII. This was in line with its objective, which was to work toward the transformation of military conflict.

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The International Association of Geneva Zones (ICDO) has continued to work toward a number of goals since its founding in 1958 as the International Civil Defence Organisation, including building a bridge between national civil defence organisations, conducting population security research, and coordinating emergency preparedness and response efforts.

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Note: IAS exam could ask basic facts about this topic as it holds international as well as domestic importance.


The goal of the day is to raise public awareness about the need of civil defence in disaster recovery. This is a vital day because it raises citizen knowledge about catastrophe preparedness, avoidance, and self-defence. World Civil Defence Day is observed to increase public awareness of civil defence, emergency preparedness, and crisis management in order to better equip citizens to help in emergency circumstances and reduce the risk of disaster.

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