22 U.S. Code § 444 - American Red Cross vessels

(a) Transport of officers, American Red Cross personnel, medical personnel, medical supplies, food and clothing

The provisions of section 442(a)[1] of this title shall not prohibit the transportation by vessels, unarmed and not under convoy, under charter or other direction and control of the American Red Cross of officers and American Red Cross personnel, medical personnel, and medical supplies, food, and clothing, for the relief of human suffering: Provided, That where permission has not been given by the blockading power, no American Red Cross vessel shall enter a port where a blockade by aircraft, surface vessel, or submarine is being attempted through the destruction of vessels, or into a port of any country where such blockade of the whole country is being so attempted: Provided further, That such American Red Cross vessel shall be on a mission of mercy only and carrying only Red Cross materials and personnel.

(b) Transport of refugee children

The provisions of sections 442(a) and 4431 of this title shall not prohibit a vessel, in ballast, unarmed, and not under convoy, and transporting refugee children, under sixteen years of age, from war zones, or combat areas, and shall not prohibit such vessel entering into such war zones or combat areas for this purpose, together with such necessary American citizen adult personnel in charge as may be approved by the Secretary of State, subject to the provisions of the immigration laws, if such vessel is proceeding under safe conduct granted by all of the States named in the proclamations issued under the authority of section 441(a) of this title, and if such vessel has painted on a large scale prominently, distinctly, and unmistakably on each side thereof and upon the superstructure thereof plainly visible from the air an American flag and a statement to the effect that such vessel is a refugee-child rescue ship of the United States or under United States registry: Provided, That every such child so brought into the United States shall, previous to departure from the port of embarkation, have been so sponsored by some responsible American person, natural or corporate, that he will not become a public charge.

(Nov. 4, 1939, ch. 2, § 4, 54 Stat. 7; June 26, 1940, ch. 431, 54 Stat. 611; Aug. 27, 1940, ch. 695, 54 Stat. 866.)

[1]  See References in Text note below.
Editorial Notes
References in Text

Sections 442(a) and 443 of this title, referred to in subsecs. (a) and (b), were repealed by act Nov. 17, 1941, ch. 473, § 1, 55 Stat. 764.


1940—Act June 26, 1940, inserted “unarmed and not under convoy”, inserted two proviso clauses and struck out “proceeding under safe conduct granted by states named in any proclamation issued under the authority of section 441(a) of this title” after “control of the American Red Cross”.

Act Aug. 27, 1940, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).

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