The Blue Shield is:
committed to the protection of the world’s cultural property, and is concerned with the protection of cultural and natural heritage, tangible and intangible, in the event of armed conflict, natural- or human-made disaster.
(Article 2.1, Blue Shield Statutes 2016)
The Blue Shield believes strongly that our work will be more effective if adequate preparations for conflicts and disasters are made in peacetime. The key areas we operate in are:
- Preparation and training for those preventing, mitigating, or responding to tangible and intangible cultural heritage damage during conflict and disasters;
- Protection of tangible and intangible cultural property during armed conflict (according to the principles of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict);
- Offering support and assistance after conflict when armed forces may still be deployed;
- Situations that do not meet the criteria for an official armed conflict, but where heritage destruction may still be occurring;
- Environmental disasters (whether natural or man-made), as many of the organisations involved in reacting to natural and human-made environmental disasters are the same as those involved in armed conflict;
- Prevention of the illicit trafficking that follows the increased looting seen during and after armed conflicts and disasters, as emergency situations often create the conditions that tallow increased looting, and illicit trafficking of objects: the Blue Shield also works in partnership with organisations like ICOM to stop illicit trafficking of cultural property.