Monday, 18 January 2021

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#NotATarget: UN urges increased protection of aid workers


19 August 2018. Attacks on humanitarian workers have increased considerably in the last five years. 

For this reason the United Nations has chosen #NotATarget as the theme of the 2018  World Humanitarian Day. In 2017, 139 aid workers were killed, the highest toll since 2013, 102 were wounded and 72 were kidnapped. In the first three months of 2018 alone, 149 attacks on medical personnel, health facilities and hospitals across 13 countries were recorded. 

The UN and its partners are launching the first ever living petition through selfies, which will be presented to the world leaders at the UN General Assembly on 18 September. Written petitions are easy to evade, but face-to face interaction is more personal and will be used to let the leaders of the world see the faces of thousands of frustrated global citizens.

“The UN should not be a target, civilians should not be a target. But the UN doesn´t always look like a civilian. The message should go out that you should not attack the UN. It´s an international crime,” says Andrew Clapham, survivor of the Baghdad attack where he was adviser on International Humanitarian law to Sergio Vieira de Mello. 

Today, 19 August 2018, markst the fifteenth anniversary of a bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, which killed 22 humanitarian aid workers including the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. 

In a message to commemorate that anniversary UN Secretary-General António Guterres says that this day was one of the darkest in the history for the organization. “Today we pay tribute to all those who died so tragically 15 years ago. We honour their sacrifice.  We will continue their mission. And we will carry forward their memory as we strive to resolve and prevent armed conflict and build a prosperous and peaceful world for all,” Mr. Guterres said


The General Assembly  designated 19 August as World Humanitarian Day, which aims to bring the world together to rally support for people affected by humanitarian crises and pays tribute to aid workers who help them.  

The day also takes a moment to honour the brave humanitarian and health workers who are frequently targeted in attacks and prevented from carrying out humanitarian or medical activities. The  #NotATarget campaign, was launched last year, and  saw more than 2 million people take social actions urging global leaders to do a better job of protecting civilians, humanitarians and health workers in conflict zones.  

Join the #NotATarget movement to demand that world leaders take action to protect all civilians caught in conflict.

Sign the petition here bye uploading a selfie. 

WHD2018  UNRIC Selfie

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