The Médecins Sans Frontières Charter states Médecins sans Frontières is a private international association. The association is made up mainly of doctors and health sector workers, while being also open to all other professions which might help achieving its goals. All of its members agree to honour the following principles:
- Médecins Sans Frontières provides assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict. They do so irrespective of race, religion, creed or political convictions.
- Médecins Sans Frontières observes neutrality and impartiality in the name of universal medical ethics and the right to humanitarian assistance and claims full and unhindered freedom in the exercise of its functions.
- Members undertake to respect their professional code of ethics and to maintain complete independence from all political, economic, or religious powers.
- As volunteers, members understand the risks and dangers of the missions they carry out and make no claim for themselves or their assigns for any form of compensation other than that which the association might be able to afford them.
MSF's commitment to these principles and their impact led to MSF being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999.