Rescue Workers at Risk

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 10, 2006 | Go to article overview

Rescue Workers at Risk


Byline: Jan Egeland, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

For those who strive to save the world's sick and wounded, this summer has been among the worst of times. Too many days begin with desperate calls from our field colleagues, telling us still more humanitarian workers have been ambushed, kidnapped or killed while in the line of service.

But the tragedy does not end there. By extension, these assaults potentially sever the lifeline of hope that unarmed aid workers provide to millions of desperate, destitute families in Darfur, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and elsewhere. These attacks must end.

Last month, 17 humanitarian aid workers in Sri Lanka from Action Against Hunger were shot in execution-style killings in the northeastern town of Muttur. We await the results of the investigation by the government of Sri Lanka with the participation of international experts, and call for prosecution of those responsible. In addition, two more aid workers were killed in Sri Lanka in August: 19 deaths in one month alone.

Meanwhile in Darfur, Sudan, this week's death of an International Rescue Committee humanitarian worker brings to 13 the number of aid workers killed since the Darfur Peace Agreement was signed in May more deaths than in the last two years combined. More than 25 humanitarian vehicles also have been hijacked or attacked in the last two months. Overall, violent incidents in Darfur increased more than 100 percent in the first seven months of 2006 as compared to the same period last year, further jeopardizing the world's largest relief operation.

Also last week, a Swiss-American aid worker was killed in Senegal when her vehicle struck a suspected land mine. A continent away in Afghanistan, 27 aid workers have died this year to date, while 31 were killed the year before. Add to this the dozens of other aid workers killed, kidnapped or attacked in Somalia, Iraq, Chechnya, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and elsewhere over the last three years, and the tragedy of these crimes becomes still more stark. Those who seek to alleviate man's inhumanity to man have become its victims.

Attacks against humanitarians have occurred against the backdrop of deteriorating security, impunity for perpetrators and an increasingly politicized environment for aid work. In each case, aid workers, armed only with their principles, paid with their lives in upholding the ethos of humanity, neutrality and impartiality that defines the humanitarian movement.

Under the Geneva Conventions, both civilians caught in armed conflict and aid workers seeking to assist them are to be protected from harm. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1502 and the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court both affirmed that intentionally attacking a humanitarian aid worker could constitute a war crime. All U.N. members have a responsibility to end impunity and bring to justice those who commit these crimes.

Despite these proclamations, humanitarian aid workers are still targeted, with the local staff of nongovernmental organizations by far the most frequent victims. When humanitarian staff or operations are targeted, aid agencies often feel they have no choice but to suspend or downscale their operations. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Rescue Workers at Risk
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.