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City of Banjul
Monday, September 21, 2020

Saluting humanitarian workers

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 These were people who left the comforts of their world and conflict-free countries to venture into conflict and war torn zones and help those who need help and support. They may differ in their approach and methodology but the common thing that bound them was the fact that they went all the way out to help those who were caught in miserable situations. And today the world honours them.

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According to a press release from the European Commission, it’s becoming dangerous for humanitarian workers to do their job. The number of attacks against them has increased since 2003. Last year alone, twelve humanitarian workers were killed every month and more than ten were kidnapped. And many more are attacked and wounded.

 

Looking at these statistics and figures, it’s very sad and depressing.  The laws that were put in place through the Geneva Convention for the protection of non-combatants and the fact that humanitarian workers are non-combatants who are out to help the vulnerable ones, are well-binding laws that people of all places are called upon to respect and abide by and in cases where identification becomes a problem, to desist from harming and resort to neutrality is advised.

 

Humanitarian work within war zones is not only restricted to the people who are caught as helpless victims but even those who are inflicting torture and pain on others. That is to say humanitarian workers are only there to alleviate the suffering of human beings without looking at affiliations. That being the case, there should be concerted effort to protect and keep them safe.

 

Wars and conflicts emerge out of societies that have been kept in the worst situations like hunger, starvation, lack of fundamental human rights etc and these are seen to be on the increase especially in our part of the world. So it becomes ever so necessary to talk of the importance of having those core values that move men and women to risk their lives.

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