We live in a turbulent period of armed conflict, mass migration, divisive politics and uncertain futures. Our smartphones and TV screens bring a continuous stream of images showing a world that is full of strife and suffering, with hospitals bombed, populations besieged, civilians targeted and millions uprooted from their homes. Advances in technology and communication mean that we know more than ever about what happens in war, including the atrocities that can occur.
How do Americans and people from across the globe perceive war and the rules governing the conduct of armed conflict in this era? Why does it matter? Have we gone numb to human suffering? And what can be done by global policymakers and others to promote greater respect for international humanitarian law?
On December 5, the ICRC will reveal the findings of a WIN/Gallup survey of more than 17,000 people in 16 countries worldwide, including those living in countries caught up in conflict - such as Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen, as well as powerful countries at-war, like the United States and Russia. The results offer a snapshot of public opinion across the globe on key issues such as the protection of civilians, attacks against hospitals, treatment of detainees, and the role of the international community in ensuring respect for the rules of war.
Result launches will be held around the world. Here in DC, we're teaming up with the New America Foundation for an exciting event on December 5. It will be moderated by Rosa Brooks, a Senior Future of War Fellow and author of the acclaimed book, "How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon." Panelists will include ICRC Director-General, Yves Daccord, and the President and CEO of Human Rights First, Elisa Massimino. (The keynote speaker and other panelists will be announced in the next couple of weeks.)
The event is open to the public and the media. (Interviews available upon request on a first-come, first served basis. Contact Anna Nelson on 202-361-1566.) Click here to sign up to attend.
More news about the DC launch, including our "Fighting for Humanity in War" exhibit on Capitol Hill and congressional reception will follow. We're also planning a new Intercross series based on the survey results. Watch this space!