The obligation to respect and protect humanitarian relief personnel, relief items and persons and objects displaying the distinctive emblem seems to be increasingly ignored in today’s conflicts. In addition, civilians, doctors and health facilities, which are also protected persons and objects under IHL, often bear a disproportionate burden as the result of contemporary armed conflict. But as ICRC President Peter Maurer reminded world leaders at a panel on South Sudan during this week’s United Nations General Assembly, "Even though IHL is widely violated, it still saves lives every day." In this week’s roundup, we take a look at some of the conversations and discussions happening around the protection of aid workers as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.Read More
To mark World Humanitarian Day on August 19, we’re presenting a new edition of our popular “In Conversation With” video series, starring the ICRC’s Global Protection Delegate, Pete Guigni, who is interviewed by ICRC DC’s Trevor Keck. They talk about some of the hardest and most rewarding aspects of being a humanitarian in world marked by widespread suffering.Read More
On August 12, 2016 the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols turned 67 and their relevance—despite violations or claims otherwise—remain as important as ever, if not more so.
Our previous post looked at the development of IHL over the last six decades and the role of the ICRC in its origins. In this post, we examine the current challenges facing the rules of war and on the ICRC's ongoing efforts to ensure that the Conventions continue to stand the test of time.Read More
People in eastern Aleppo are living through “hell on earth,” the ICRC`s spokesperson in Syria told CNN last week. Hostilities have only intensified on both sides of Aleppo since then. Nowhere and no one is safe in Aleppo This has to stop. For the sake of people suffering immensely in Aleppo, let’s hope that we soon see a de-escalation of hostilities, daily humanitarian pauses that can offer relief, and a commitment by all sides to allow all those that wish to leave Aleppo to do so safely.Read More
On August 12th, 2016, the Geneva Conventions--which place limits on how war is waged and form the cornerstone of international humanitarian law (IHL)--turn 67. With civilians bearing the brunt of many protracted conflicts, scholars and aid agencies have raised questions about the continued relevance of IHL. While the nature of warfare has changed unrecognizably since the adoption of the original convention more than 150 years ago, the rules of IHL remain as relevant as ever.Read More
Humanitarian concerns in Iraq – particularly those of an estimated 3.3 million people who are internally displaced – are being overshadowed by military, security and stabilization objectives.
As Iraqi and coalition forces prepare their offensive to take back Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul from the Islamic State group, we at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are growing increasingly worried about the humanitarian crisis affecting those who have fled earlier battles, and the looming crisis that awaits the residents of Mosul and the surrounding area.Read More
The Syrian city of Aleppo is seeing some of the fiercest fighting in months, and the ICRC is concerned about the alarming lack of respect for civilians, health facilities and civilian infrastructure, as well as the growing humanitarian needs in the city.Read More
ICRC President Peter Maurer said that suffering in Syria and Iraq has reached 'unprecedented levels' and called on those people with influence over the conflict to show vision, courage, and a respect of human dignity.Read More
Intense battles that have been raging in Aleppo have seen a key hospital destroyed with significant loss of life and are putting millions at grave risk. "There is no neighborhood of the city that hasn't been hit. People are living on the edge. Everyone here fears for their lives and nobody knows what is coming next."Read More