Every year on 19 August, World Humanitarian Day (WHD) brings the humanitarian world together to rally support for people affected by humanitarian crisis and pay tribute to aid workers who help them. This WHD, we come together to reaffirm that civilians caught in conflict are #NotATarget, and to demand global action to protect them. In war zones, children must hide from bombing beneath their beds, rather than learning at their desks. Families are forced to flee their towns, rather than build their homes, livelihoods and communities. At the same time, health and aid workers, who care for people affected by violence, are increasingly being targeted. Medicine and relief supplies are looted, hospitals and ambulances are targeted , and humanitarian aid workers are detained or denied access to people in desperate need. This is unacceptable.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has published his first report on the Protection of Civilians. Laying out his ‘path to protection’, the Secretary-General calls for enhanced respect for international humanitarian and human rights law, and protection of civilians, including humanitarian and medical workers, as well as civilian infrastructure. He also calls for the prevention of forced displacement, and durable solutions for refugees and internally displaced persons. Global leaders made commitments to uphold the norms that safeguard humanity at the World Humanitarian Summit last year. Since then, new initiatives for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, enabling humanitarian and medical missions, and speaking out against violations have been reported around the world. However, much more must be done.
This issue of Dispatch highlights our work to enhance the protection of humanitarian personnel and humanitarian facilities which are protected under International Humanitarian Law (IHL), through the development of Operational Guidance for Humanitarian Notification Systems for Deconfliction (HNS4D). Through these means, ESB will continue to stand in solidarity and take action to protect people caught up in conflict.