Join the #NotATarget movement to demand that world leaders take action to protect all civilians caught in conflict.

sign with a selfie

This World Humanitarian Day, we continue to recognize the suffering of millions of civilians caught in conflict. People in cities and towns struggle to find food, water, and safe shelter while fighting drives millions from their homes. Schools are destroyed and children are recruited and forced to fight. Women are abused and used as tools of war. As humanitarian workers deliver aid, and medical workers help the wounded and sick, they are directly targeted, treated as threats, and prevented from bringing relief and care to those in desperate need.

world humanitarian day 2018

#notatarget

This World Humanitarian Day, we continue to recognize the suffering of millions of civilians caught in conflict. People in cities and towns struggle to find food, water, and safe shelter while fighting drives millions from their homes. Schools are destroyed and children are recruited and forced to fight. Women are abused and used as tools of war. As humanitarian workers deliver aid, and medical workers help the wounded and sick, they are directly targeted, treated as threats, and prevented from bringing relief and care to those in desperate need.

Join the #NotATarget movement to demand that world leaders take action to protect all civilians caught in conflict.

sign with a selfie

The Living Petition

Join The Movement

Your selfie will become part of the first-ever living petition, a sculpture powered by social media that will confront world leaders at the UN General Assembly this September with a powerful reminder: Civilians are #NotATarget. By coming together, we will face world leaders and demand protection for the millions of people caught in the middle of conflicts and whose lives are on the line.

Sign with a selfie › Sign with a selfie ›

Civilians are

#NotATarget

This World Humanitarian Day, we’re shining a light on the millions of people whose lives are being destroyed by wars. Explore their stories, then join the movement to demand action from world leaders. Civilians are #NotATarget.

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  • Forcibly Displaced People

    Over 68 million people around the world have been forced from their homes due to war, violence and persecution. Escaping hostilities and seeking of the basics to survive, civilians often have little hope of returning home. During their displacement, they face new dangers, including sexual violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, forced recruitment, and trafficking.

    watch the film
  • Aid Workers

    Aid workers make it their mission to provide life-saving support, but their efforts are often impeded by warring parties. From looting and deliberate obstructions to attacks and kidnapping, impediments to humanitarian efforts create ripple effects with dire consequence for people who need help.

    watch the film
  • Medical Workers

    For people who are wounded and sick due to conflict, medical workers are often their only hope for survival. But when those medical workers are attacked, unable to treat patients, or left with no choice but to flee, the result is immediate death and suffering, and a permanent loss of essential medical care.

    watch the film
  • Civilians in Urban Areas

    During conflict, cities often become grounds of destruction and death. The use of explosives results in vast damage to homes, schools, hospitals and commercial spaces. Without this essential infrastructure, civilians face long-term, profound, and often catastrophic outcomes.

  • Children

    When children are caught in conflict, their layers of protection are stripped away. Family is lost, essentials such as safety, food and water become inaccessible, and schools and playgrounds are destroyed. When this happens, children in conflict become vulnerable to recruitment into fighting and to dangers such as sex and labor trafficking.

  • Targets of Sexual Violence

    Sexual violence is used as a horrific tactic of war. It is often women and girls who are exploited, but rape, forced prostitution and other unspeakable acts are committed against people of all genders and ages. In addition to such extreme physical and mental trauma, victims often endure societal stigma in response to their plight, leading to rejection or discrimination. 

What Is World Humanitarian Day

15 YEARS AGO, ON 19 AUGUST, 22 HUMANITARIAN AID WORKERS WERE KILLED IN A BOMB ATTACK ON THE CANAL HOTEL IN BAGHDAD, IRAQ

  • In 2008, the General Assembly designated 19 August as World Humanitarian Day, in recognition of and to pay tribute to humanitarian workers who have risked and lost their lives in humanitarian service.

    Learn more ›
  • World leaders have the power to ensure the protection of the millions of civilians caught in conflict around the globe. We must come together to remind leaders that civilians are #NotATarget.

    Learn more ›
  • Andrew Clapham

    At the time of the Canal Hotel Bombing, Andrew Clapham served as advisor on International Humanitarian Law to Special Representative for Iraq Sergio Vieria de Mello, who died in the attack. Here is Clapham’s harrowing account of that tragic day.

    Read Andrew's story ›
  • Elpida Rouka

    Elpida Rouka has been with the UN for over 15 years and was stationed at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad during the 2003 bombing. With her office directly below the area of the attack, read her account of how she narrowly escaped catastrophe.

    Read Elpida's story ›