Nota bene: our weekly round-up of noteworthy stuff

After a bit of a hiatus, our weekly list of noteworthy articles and online content is back with a new name: "Nota bene" (Latin for "note well" or "take note"). For the uninitiated, this round-up takes a look at the news from a humanitarian perspective on armed conflict, human suffering, and emergencies (with some hope thrown in for good measure!).

There was broad coverage today of the news that this year's Nobel Peace Prize was jointly awarded to Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai and Indian child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi. If you're unfamiliar with Satyarthi's work, check out this short video clip from a series on human trafficking produced by Linx & Moonbeam for the BBC. (Fun fact: Did you know that the founder of the ICRC, Henry Dunant, was the very first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901? To find out how many times the ICRC has been given the prestigious award, go here.)

In a recent Chatham House interview, the Director-General of the ICRC, Yves Daccord, talks about "the challenges in dealing with the Islamic State and predicts that aid workers may soon be given a TripAdvisor style rating."

NPR had an interesting conversation with retired four-star General in the US Army and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Wesley Clark, who said the US is at a pivotal crossroads, and that its "history of rallying around conflict will no longer serve us in the face of crises at home and abroad." He believes the "issues uniting Americans should be energy independence and economic growth, not war."

The New York Times followed the journey of Cecilia, a "restless wisp of a girl" who, lured by false promises and motivated by fear, was smuggled into the US only to become one of more than 50,000 accompanied minors now living here illegally. 

In a piece about "the ceasefire that is not a ceasefire" in Ukraine, The Economist mentions our colleague, Laurent DuPasquier, who was tragically killed in Donetsk last week as being among the estimated 331 civilians and soldiers who have died since September 5th, when the government and the rebels agreed to stop fighting. featured a series of Instagram photos by different people covering or involved in fighting the Ebola outbreak, including images taken by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The pictures of the children are the hardest to look at. The Washington Post covered the tragedy of Ebola's youngest victims too

Meanwhile, Mashable takes us back almost 100 years to the "forgotten" epidemic that killed more people than World War I. (See our cover photo.)

Al Jazeera has produced an interactive map and chart showing which countries are countering ISIL.

UNHCR has produced a beautiful new site, called TRACKS, which chronicles the stories of refugees and aid workers around the world.

In the run-up to a Gaza donor conference in Cairo this weekend, which will be attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Al Jazeera also published a stark, black and white photo essay of residents in Gaza trying to rebuild their lives. Additional information about the emergency recovery needs in Gaza can also be found on

The Atlantic says cross-border fighting between India and Pakistan has renewed tensions between the countries, asking, "Who is worried about Kashmir?"

In case you missed it, check out the statement by US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, Anne Richard, on the unprecedented scale, complexity and urgency of today's humanitarian crises.

The ICRC issued a news release this week expressing serious concern over threats made against volunteers and staff working for the Central African Red Cross, who are doing their best to recover the bodies of people killed in a fresh wave of violence in Bangui. We also issued an operational update on our activities in CAR last Friday.

To mark World Mental Health Day today, the ICRC also published a video (below) about a campaign in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, encouraging rape victims to seek medical and psychosocial help - regardless of who assaulted them.  

Saturday is International Day of the Girl and we have to give a shout-out to this feisty 5th grader from Kibera, Kenya, who has a dream worth listening to.

And finally, CNN featured a playlist of TED talks on a tomorrow transformed by technology and innovation. We especially like the one on how drones can be used to bring medicine and other humanitarian supplies to the one billion people living in areas that don't have all-season roads.

**The usual disclaimer: Just because something is featured here, doesn't mean we endorse or agree with it, and the views expressed on the platforms we're highlighting don't necessarily represent those of the ICRC. **

Are you a writer, videographer, or blogger publishing interesting stuff linked to armed conflict, international humanitarian law (aka the law of armed conflict), innovation, compassion, history, etc. that you think deserves a shout-out here? Send us a link and we might feature your content next week. Write to: anelson (at) icrc (dot) org 


For six years Antoinette Mbila has been helping the women of her village and others in South Kivu recover from the trauma of rape or sexual assault. Trained by the ICRC as a psychosocial counsellor, she leads a small team at the “Maison d’Ecoute” (Listening House) in Irangi. The ICRC has just completed a campaign in the region to encourage women to get medical and psychosocial help whenever they are raped, whether it is by someone they know or an outsider. The campaign involves raising awareness on the radio as well as organizing community theatre events.