HUMANITARIAN AID WORKERS
ABOUT THE MEMORIAL
World Humanitarian Day – 19th August - was designated by the United Nations (UN) as a day of commemoration of humanitarian aid workers. The date marks the anniversary of the assassination of Sergio Vieira de Mello, a notable humanitarian, and twenty-one of his colleagues at the UN offices in Baghdad in 2003 in a targeted bombing.
Welcome to the Humanitarian Memorial: both an annual event and a permanent memorial. The annual event marks World Humanitarian Day on the 19th of August, and the Humanitarian Memorial dedicated to humanitarian aid workers has been commissioned from a prominent artist. The siting of the memorial in a public space accessible to all has yet to be finalised. It seeks to honour those from all over the world who have died in the service of humanitarianism, to recognise our common humanitarian ideals and to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian action around the globe. On these pages you will find further information about the annual event, the permanent memorial and tributes to humanitarian workers.
The UK has a long and noble tradition of public support for people affected by humanitarian crises around the world, backed by world-renowned UK charities and aid organisations. Humanitarian aid workers are deployed in all kinds of conflicts and disasters across the globe - from Afghanistan to the Philippines, from Colombia to Mozambique. The work is often dangerous and aid workers have all too often given their lives helping others in need - either due to the inherent dangers of marginal environments and conflict zones, or due to the steadily increasing targeting of aid workers themselves. Surprisingly, there is no dedicated site in the UK - or elsewhere in the world - for relatives, friends and colleagues to gather and reflect on their loved ones' sacrifices, and to celebrate the work that the tens of thousands of humanitarian workers continue to undertake.
On World Humanitarian Day each year Westminster Abbey, London, has dedicated Evensong to humanitarian aid workers and granted a non-religious ceremony to take place at the Memorial for Innocent Victims of War and Oppression.
All are welcome.