World Humanitarian Day: Open letter with Charter4Change
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On Sunday 19 August, the global aid community marks World Humanitarian Day.
The purpose of World Humanitarian Day is to ‘pay tribute to the government employees, members of civil society and representatives of international organisations and agencies who risk their lives to provide humanitarian aid and protection’.
To coincide with this day, TEAR is part of an open letter, coordinated by Charter 4 Change, which calls for greater protection of local aid workers. In 2017, at least 313 aid workers were victims of violent acts. 154 of these individuals worked for local or national organisations; when local staff working for international organisations are considered, this figure rises even higher.
TEAR’s approach to development is, where possible, to work through local organisations who are already part of the community, and have an understanding of the culture and needs there.
Charter4Change is an international initiative led by national and international non-government organisations, to promote a more locally-led response to humanitarian work.
The open letter calls for
- Safe access to people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, for all humanitarian and civil society personnel;
- A continuous effort to strengthen, support and enforce all measures in relation to the protection of humanitarian and civil society actors;
- Host governments to do more to guarantee that individuals or groups who attack or intimidate humanitarian actors are held to account for their actions;
- Donor governments to commit more resources to build the capacities of local and national actors who operate in high-risk and hostile environments.