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September 25, 2018

HI urges 4,500 politicians to support international campaign against bombing of civilians

Humanity & Inclusion is calling on 4,500 legislators—across the globe—to stop the bombing of populated areas, an almost systematic practice in present-day conflicts, of which 92% of casualties are civilians.

Politicians have the power to bring it to an end. As part of our international Stop Bombing Civilians campaign, HI is reaching out to dozens of U.S. Senators, as well as thousands of members of parliament in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland, to push for the strongest protection possible of civilians in armed conflicts.

92% of bombing casualties in populated areas, mainly cities, are civilians—men, women, and children who are trying desperately to flee violence. This is unacceptable. States must recognize the humanitarian problems caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. They must commit to finding political solutions to bring an end to this practice and ensure civilians are protected from the effects of war, as required under international humanitarian law.

“This practice is killing, maiming, and traumatizing civilians,” says Jeff Meer, U.S. Executive Director of Humanity & Inclusion. “They're not involved in fighting, yet them make up 92% of those killed and injured when bombing happens in populated areas.  They have a right to be protected from the effects of war to the greatest extent possible.

“By appealing to legislators, we hope that this campaign will better inform politicians, encourage them to take a stand and to find political solutions to this indiscriminate carnage. We also want to raise public awareness and get people talking about this.”

The bombing of populated areas has a disastrous impact on civilians, including death, disabling injuries, psychological trauma, forced displacement, destruction of vital infrastructure such as hospitals and schools, and the contamination of areas by explosive remnants of war.

Between October 2016 and July 2017, more than 800,000 people were forced to flee bombings during the military offensive on the Iraqi city of Mosul. Lurking in an estimated eight million tons of rubble are explosive remnants, which hinder the safe return of residents and the reconstruction of seriously damaged cities.

The intensive use of explosive weapons has devastated Syrian cities such as Kobani, Raqqa, and Homs. Decontamination and reconstruction will take decades to complete.

We invite politicians to join the movement by signing our petition to Stop Bombing Civilians, which already counts 113,000 signatures, and bringing an end to this practice as part of their political activities. HI calls on members of the U.S. Senate to pressure governments to take a stand against this barbaric practice.

Stop Bombing Civilians campaign

Since 2016, Humanity & Inclusion has been implementing an international campaign to “Stop Bombing Civilians.” The organization aims to collect one million signatures to submit to the United Nations. A co-founder and member of the INEW (International Network on Explosive Weapons) coalition, HI is calling on all States to end the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

About Humanity & Inclusion

Humanity & Inclusion (the new name of Handicap International) is an independent charity working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. We work tirelessly alongside people with disabilities and vulnerable people to help meet their basic needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.

Since its creation in 1982, HI has set up development programs in more than 60 countries and intervenes in numerous emergency situations. The network of eight national associations (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States) works constantly to mobilize resources, co-manage projects and promote the principles and actions of the organization. Humanity & inclusion is one of the six founding associations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), co-winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, and winner of the 2011 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize.