Archive for May 19th, 2019


‘Protecting Civilians in Combat Zones: Tackling Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs*

Human suffering caused by war is not a new phenomenon.

Ms. Nakamitsu 3

Izumi Nakamitsu

And while our highest priority remains the prevention of war, evolving patterns of armed violence are posing new and more difficult challenges that require action.

The number of people killed in armed conflict has risen tenfold since 2005.

Conflict is migrating into villages, towns and cities, but governments and non-state actors are continuing to use weapons designed for open battlefields.

Many weapons originally intended for battlefield use, those that disperse multiple munitions over a wide area, fire without a direct line of sight to the target, or produce large blasts and fragmentation, pose serious humanitarian concerns when used in populated areas.

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Universal Services More Effective Than a Universal Basic Income, Argues New Report

Human Wrongs Watch

By Laurie Macfarlane*

New research finds that expanding access and broadening provision of Universal Basic Services would be of greater value to people in the lowest income groups.

Image: HM Treasury, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Risk Grows of ‘Catastrophic Humanitarian Fallout’ in Syria’s Idlib, Where 3 Million Are Trapped: Top UN Officials Urge Unity in Security Council

The UN’s Political and Humanitarian Affairs chiefs on Friday [17 May 2019] called on the Security Council to unite in support of an immediate de-escalation of fighting around Syria’s Idlib province, and work towards an enduring political solution on behalf of the Syrian people.

© UNICEF/Ahmad Al Ahmad | Families fleeing hostilities near Kafr Lusein, in the Syrian Arab Republic, shelter in group tents provided by the Turkish Red Crescent. (9 May 2019)

The UN’s head of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo told members that “we have been here before: in Aleppo, Eastern Ghouta and Raqqa” where civilian casualties mounted along with an all-out offensive by the Syrian Government and its allies.

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Skyscraper-Depth Well Brings Clean Water to Rohingya Refugees

Cox’s Bazar, 17 May 2019 (IOM)*  –  Under clear 36-degree Celsius skies, an exhausted Rafiq leans against his house, surrounded by his five children. Glancing upwards, he ponders another sweltering walk down a steep dirt path to haul clean water for his family.



Rohingya refugees at a shallow well in Cox’s Bazar.

A pump just nearby provides water whose drinkability he views as “unreliable” and requires an arduous hillside trek. Sterilizing water by boiling also is difficult because firewood is hard to come by.

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