As the global aid community marks Word Humanitarian Day, Save the Children Australia has joined a worldwide call to protect civilians in conflict, including aid workers.
Now in its second year, the United Nation’s #NotATarget campaign demands world leaders act to better protect civilians, including aid workers caught in conflict.
In 2017, the United Nations recorded the deaths or injuries of more than 26,000 civilians, many of those children, in attacks in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen.
Last year was also the second deadliest year on record for humanitarian workers according to new figures from the Aid Worker Security Database. These figures reinforce the particular dangers aid workers face in carrying out their work – and it is aid workers drawn from their local communities who account for nine out of 10 of the victims of violent attacks.
CEO of Save the Children Australia Paul Ronalds said, “Despite the danger, Save the Children’s aid workers are putting their own lives on the line every day in the service of humanity, improving the lives of children and families in some of the toughest places on earth”.
“Often in these places, humanitarian workers make the difference between life and death. It is unacceptable that they are directly targeted while attempting to make the world a better place.
“The fact that they can brush the dust off their boots and go back to work every day is a true testament of their commitment to bringing relief and care to those in desperate need all over the world.
“Save the Children calls for all parties to conflict to respect international humanitarian law and allow aid workers to carry out their lifesaving work safely,” Mr Ronalds said.
In 2017, Save the Children and our partners reached more than 49 million children in about 120 countries, often working in complex situations and in countries hit hard by war or natural disasters where children are especially vulnerable.
In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly designated 19 August as World Humanitarian Day, in recognition of and to pay tribute to humanitarian workers who have risked and lost their lives in humanitarian service. This year’s #NotATarget movement demands that world leaders take action to protect all civilians caught in conflict. Join the movement here.
For interviews, call Jess Brennan on 0421 334 918