Statement from Humanitarian Organizations in Myanmar on Escalating ViolencePublished: Jan 3, 2022 Reading time: 2 minutes
We, the undersigned 14 humanitarian organizations in Myanmar, are outraged at the egregious attack on civilians and aid workers reportedly perpetrated by military forces on 24 December, which also led to the deaths of two aid workers, staff members of our peer organization Save the Children.
Humanitarian aid workers serving communities in Myanmar and in conflict around the globe must never be a target. We stand in solidarity with Save the Children. What happens to one of us happens to all of us.
Violence and abuse towards civilians, including humanitarian aid workers, by military forces or by any armed group is strictly prohibited under International Humanitarian Law. Even as the escalating violence deepens humanitarian need, the increasing risk to aid workers directly affects our ability to reach people, and puts aid workers attempting to deliver lifesaving assistance at tremendous risk.
International humanitarian organizations in Myanmar unequivocally condemn the use of force against civilians and aid workers by any parties to the conflict. All those responsible must be held to account.
We urgently call for all parties to the conflict, including military forces, to respect and fulfill their obligations to protect civilians and provide swift, secure, and unfettered access for the distribution of lifesaving aid to all those in need. We also call on the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to convene an urgent meeting to review and take action on the April 2021 ‘Five Point Consensus’ which calls for an immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar and for the ASEAN Special Envoy to help mediate a diplomatic solution. We urge the United Nations Security Council and member States with influence to take immediate action to ensure the protection of civilians and the aid workers working alongside them and provide accountability measures to ensure this type of attack will not be repeated.
Danish Refugee Council
Finn Church Aid
Humanity & Inclusion
International Rescue Committee
Lutheran World Federation
Norwegian People’s Aid
People in Need