THE MAGAZINE

Rendering Assistance to Aid Workers

Aid workers, who render assistance to the most vulnerable populations in the least hospitable regions of the world, have long operated with protected status under international humanitarian law. Combatants, nevertheless, increasingly ignore this protection. From Iraq to Afghanistan to Sri Lanka, aid workers have faced savage attacks when working within conflict zones.

This trend was highlighted in a 2006 joint report by the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) and the Center on International Cooperation—“Providing Aid in Insecure Environments: Trends in Policy and Operations”—that studied major violent acts against aid workers from 1997-2005.

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