World Civil Defence Day: Find out the day's history, theme and significance


World Civil Defence Day is observed on 1 March each year to create awareness about the importance of civil protection and preparedness. The day is celebrated by the International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO).

World Civil Defence Day also commemorates people who have sacrificed their lives for the purpose of protecting others. It also calls upon volunteers, as well as other individuals, to learn life-saving skills in order to be prepared for any man-made or natural emergency.


French Surgeon-General George Saint-Paul established the Association of Geneva Zones in 1931. Saint-Paul was influenced by the horrors of the First World War and aimed to create safety zones where civilians could seek protection in times of wars or disasters.

It was from this organisation that the ICDO was later formed. The organisation aims to ensure that civilian populations and property are protected in times of disasters, whether man-made or natural.

World Civil Defence Day is marked on 1 March as it commemorates the anniversary of the day when the ICDO was recognised as an intergovernmental organisation by the United Nations. The organisation currently consists of 60 members and 23 observer states.


Civil defence aims at making citizens better-equipped to deal with any form of natural or man-made calamity. It also focuses on making volunteers more active participants in the evacuation, response and recue efforts resulting from any disaster.

Be it the present Russia-Ukraine crisis or disasters such as tsunami or earthquake, World Civil Defence Day aims at creating populations who are able to protect themselves and survive in adverse conditions.


The theme for World Civil Defence Day this year is “Civil Defence and Management of Displaced Populations in Face of Disasters and Crises; Role of Volunteers and the Fight Against Pandemics”.

Wishes and messages:

Here are some messages and wishes to share with your loved ones on the occasion of World Civil Defence Day 2022:

•    Come salute those who give their lives to save our lives on World Civil Defence Day 2022.
•    I hope you and the family take part in disaster prevention and simulation exercises to stay strong on the level of preparedness. Have an educative World Civil Defence Day.
•    I hope your family and your loved ones will become more aware of the matter of civil protection on World Civil Defence Day 2022.
•    Today, we all need the shield of safety measures and self-protection skills to move safely towards our life. Happy World Civil Defence Day 2022.
•    On this occasion of World Civil Defence Day this year, let us all learn ways of self-defence to save our lives as well as the lives of others.

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World Civil Defence Day: Find out the day's history, theme and significance
World Civil Defence Day: Find out the day's history, theme and significance
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