• “Violence against humanitarian workers on the rise” – Study


    You perhaps have heard that another canadian was kidnapped in Sudan this week. this follows the abduction of three MSF workers last month in darfur, including canadian laura archer. a recent report from the “Centre on International Cooperation” in new york, detailing violence against humanitarian workers, says that violence against aid workers is becoming more common. it is getting more dangerous to work for an NGO in some places than to be a UN peacekeeper, particularly in Somalia, Afghanistan, and Sudan. the humanitarian space dwindles further.

    most of the incidents, according to the report by Abby Stoddard, Adele Harmer and Victoria DiDomenico, the increase in attacks seems most likely due to political motivations.  interestingly, if one removes the top three countries from the list, there is a consistent trend for LESS violence for evey 10 000 people in the field.

    i’m curious as to whether aid groups, or ngo’s, are being seen as western emmisaries in these increasingly ideologically polarized places.  i can speak more to sudan, as i know it better, but the recent actions to expel western ngo’s from the country seem in response to what is being interpreted as in incursion on sovereign soil.  i know msf is struggling for access, to declare their complete independence from outside influence, in the hopes they can return.  one wonders if the trend noted above is true, if we are being seen as part of the a larger undeclared political agenda, or if we are simply unarmed, convenient tools to provide resources, to be used as pawns in larger political maneuvers.


2 Responses to ““Violence against humanitarian workers on the rise” – Study”

  1. stephanie says:

    we should also consider that the large majority of violence against aid workers happens to the local national staff, not expatriates. these attacks don’t make the news back home, though, so we often don’t hear about it, as we did with the recent kidnappings. the local staff are also the most vulnerable – often unable to leave the region or country when things get bad.

  2. Narelle Wilson says:

    I just finished your new book… for me it certainly puts things into perspective. I really appreciated your sense of humour; it really shone through your writing, I had a good giggle a couple of times. That and your willingness to go and do something that matters….. you talk about the irreconcilable invisible distance you feel between you and others, so i can only say how i appreciate your tireless work and the help you gave. So thank you.
    I must say you really have inspired me to do more in this world. I look forward to your next book release and hope the next time you are in Australia, I don’t miss you this time!…now that would be uncool! So take care James.
    Narelle – Gold Coast, Australia

    Ps. I watched you in your video on your website and where you hit your head. funny….

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