The Blue Shield is the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross. It is the protective emblem specified in the 1954 Hague Convention (Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict) for marking cultural sites to give them protection from attack in the event of armed conflict. The Blue Shield network consists of organizations dealing with museums, archives, audiovisual supports, libraries, as well as monuments and sites.
The International Committee of the Blue Shield, founded in 1996, comprises representatives of the five Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in this field: the International Council on Archives (www.ica.org), the International Council of Museums (www.icom.museum),the International Council on Monuments and Sites (www.icomos.org), and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (www.ifla.org) the Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (www.ccaaa.org). National Blue Shield Committees have been founded in a number of countries. The Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield (ANCBS), founded in December 2008, is coordinating and strengthening international efforts to protect cultural property at risk of destruction in armed conflicts or natural disasters. The ANCBS has its headquarters in The Hague.