Safety of UN Aid Workers

#1
Considering the reality that in many conflicts UN Aid Workers become targets for varying reasons, is it time for attacking UN or UN accredited Aid Workers to be made a specific war crime.
 
#2
It is some 16 years since I worked for the British Red Cross but I am sure that the Geneva Convention covers the issue of aid workers. It must surely be up to the politicians regards the crimes.
 
#3
Waspie said:
It is some 16 years since I worked for the British Red Cross but I am sure that the Geneva Convention covers the issue of aid workers. It must surely be up to the politicians regards the crimes.
I believe your right. It was also quite interesting seeing the israeli military representative squirming on the news when it was cited that the IDF had left starving/traumatised children with their dead parents without even offering help or reporting their position. Another breach of the Geneva convention i believe but ho hum they are only gazans and dont deserve human rights. Makes my blood boil!!
 
#4
Waspie said:
It is some 16 years since I worked for the British Red Cross but I am sure that the Geneva Convention covers the issue of aid workers. It must surely be up to the politicians regards the crimes.
I do not doubt that the circumstances can be covered by the generalities of the Geneva Convention, but I have a suspicion that several organisations shall we say take chances on this where as if it was de facto a war crime to fire on certain organisations at least those organisation who operate ROE may take a little more care, or risk never being able to leave their home country again and live in fear of a change in government.
 
#5
The IDF have a long history of using Red Cross vehicles for target practice… Too many instances for them to be 'accidents'.
 
#7
Oil_Slick said:
The IDF have a long history of using Red Cross vehicles for target practice… Too many instances for them to be 'accidents'.
Correct me if i'm wrong but i believe the argies painted a rather large red cross on buildings which were in actual fact ammo dumps so we wouldn't fire on them. My point is this highlights the breach of the Geneva convention so whats the point in having bloody rules if they are bent to suit themselves and then nobody is held to account!!
 
#8
NB Don't get mixed up between actual people wearing a sircoat with UN/Red Cross/Red Crescent/Whatever is helping on it, and a building with a red cross painted on it for dodgy reasons mate.
Those that go to these countries (mainly African) to help people should be protected by both International Laws and by Local Laws iaw the International ones, however, in all honesty, the countries that require that kind of outside help on the scale that we've seen in the past are hardly likely to be in much of a position to uphold any Laws, let alone International ones.
:)
 
#9
Lamri said:
NB Don't get mixed up between actual people wearing a sircoat with UN/Red Cross/Red Crescent/Whatever is helping on it, and a building with a red cross painted on it for dodgy reasons mate.
Those that go to these countries (mainly African) to help people should be protected by both International Laws and by Local Laws iaw the International ones, however, in all honesty, the countries that require that kind of outside help on the scale that we've seen in the past are hardly likely to be in much of a position to uphold any Laws, let alone International ones.
:)
I think i was illustrating the point that it is against the Geneva convention to fire on a car, building, FAP etc that bears a Red Cross of any description and that this has obviosly been breached for whatever reason
 
#10
ex_rubberdagger said:
Oil_Slick said:
The IDF have a long history of using Red Cross vehicles for target practice… Too many instances for them to be 'accidents'.
Correct me if i'm wrong but i believe the argies painted a rather large red cross on buildings which were in actual fact ammo dumps so we wouldn't fire on them. My point is this highlights the breach of the Geneva convention so whats the point in having bloody rules if they are bent to suit themselves and then nobody is held to account!!

They also misused the hospital in Stanley for military purposes. When I returned there in 89 there was still the occasional loaded weapon found in the remains of the hospital.

Your point applies to all laws. If they cannot be enforced then they are a waste of time. Not that that ever stopped any politician from voting for such laws.
 

sgtpepperband

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#11
Crabman said:
...Your point applies to all laws. If they cannot be enforced then they are a waste of time...
Not all laws require any enforcement; there is also an element of compliance whereby any person [subject to that particular legislation] is compelled to to abide with that law. The enforcement comes after the event, by means of a trial.
 
#12
I think what must be pointed out is the Geneva Convention is just that - A Convention.

An agreement between civilised nations to agree on actions when there are hostilities. The geneva Convention is not Law, international or otherwise.

It is up to the politicians on seeing that there are breaches of the convention to act accordingly.

Unfortunately there are few governments strong enough in moral courage to act on their convictions.

As a PS, the convention is written in such a woolly way that it is open to a lot of misinterpretation.
 

hackle

Lantern Swinger
Moderator
#13
Waspie said:
I think what must be pointed out is the Geneva Convention is just that - A Convention.

An agreement between civilised nations to agree on actions when there are hostilities. The geneva Convention is not Law, international or otherwise....
As a matter of interest, the Conventions have been imported into the domestic law of many countries including the United Kingdom. The indictments of the Nazis tried at Nuremberg specifically referred to the predecessors of the 1949 Conventions.
 
#14
ex_rubberdagger said:
I believe your right. It was also quite interesting seeing the israeli military representative squirming on the news when it was cited that the IDF had left starving/traumatised children with their dead parents without even offering help or reporting their position.

In another previously unreported incident, an Israeli soldier on patrol in one of Gaza's teeming alleyways was confronted by a young Palestinian woman running towards him in a state of state of extreme agitation. Before the soldier could react, she collapsed into his arms, then detonated a belt of high explosives that were strapped to her body, instantly killing herself and the soldier.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/...urned-the-tide-of-support-against-Israel.html
In common with other militant Islamist groups, Hamas thinks nothing of seeking refuge among the civilian population, knowing that if their better-equipped adversaries accidentally kill or injure innocent civilians while trying to attack Hamas fighters, Israel will receive all the criticism, rather than the Hamas fighters who placed the civilians in harm's way.
British forces operating from bases such as Musa Kala in southern Afghanistan know this scenario only too well, where the Taliban takes over a local school or mosque to attack British positions
In one such incident last year Taliban fighters held a wedding party captive while they fired rockets at nearby American forces. In the resulting US air strike, 37 wedding guests were killed, but it was the US and its allies, rather than the Taliban, which was on the receiving end of the subsequent international outcry over this dreadful waste of innocent life.

Posted in the interests of balance
 

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
#15
4to8 said:
Posted in the interests of balance
Although irrelevant to this thread, try one of the others..... oh you seem to have posted it there as well!

This on the other hand is relevant:
GENEVA (AFP) – United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay on Friday called for an independent investigation into violence in the Gaza Strip and Israel and warned that some reported violations may constitute war crimes.

Pillay told a special session of the UN Human Rights Council that Israel and Palestinian militants had an obligation under international humanitarian law to care for the wounded, and to protect ambulances, hospitals and health workers.

The former South African judge also slammed rocket attacks by Palestinian militants from Gaza on Israel as unacceptable.

Schools, hospitals, power and water supplies in the Gaza Strip had been driven to breaking point and must not be jeopardised by continued attacks, while civilians must be spared under international humanitarian law, she added.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights underlined that the conditions for civilians in the Gaza Strip "constitute egregious violations of human rights".

"Accountability must be ensured for violations of international law. As a first step credible, independent and transparent investigations must be carried out to identify violations and establish responsibilities," Pillay said.

"I remind this Council that violations of international humanitarian law may constitute war crimes for which individual criminal responsibility may be invoked," she added.

Pillay called for the deployment of human rights monitors in both Israel and the Palestinian territory to independently document any violations.

The International Committee of the Red Cross on Thursday accused Israeli forces of failing to meet their obligation under international humanitarian law after it found unattended wounded people alongside corpses near a military post.

Pillay also joined UN condemnation of "totally unacceptable" air strikes by Israel against a clearly marked UN facility, killing dozens of people who had taken shelter there.

She said the locations of all such UN facilities were communicated to Israeli authorities, adding, "Despite such knowledge, Israel defied the UN request for protection."


From here: Yahoo news 45 mins ago
 
#16
ex_rubberdagger said:
Oil_Slick said:
The IDF have a long history of using Red Cross vehicles for target practice… Too many instances for them to be 'accidents'.
Correct me if i'm wrong but i believe the argies painted a rather large red cross on buildings which were in actual fact ammo dumps so we wouldn't fire on them. My point is this highlights the breach of the Geneva convention so whats the point in having bloody rules if they are bent to suit themselves and then nobody is held to account!!
They also decided not to attack Canberra beause they assumed as she was painted white she was a hospital ship.
 
#17
Some balance...

In years past, volunteers working for overseas relief organizations could deliver humanitarian aid without a significant risk of being kidnapped or killed. At present, this is no longer the case as aid workers themselves have become targets of terrorists, narcoterrorists, insurgents, war lords, gangs, and other hostile elements. The Red Cross, CARE, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders, the United Nations, and other international rescue and relief organizations are suffering loss of volunteers in areas such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somali, and other nations with high levels of conflict.

After some major disasters, criminal elements and local gangs act to divert relief supplies for their own profit. Aid workers who get in the way of this criminal activity may be kidnapped or killed. A few terrorist and insurgent groups are now making it a practice to kidnap aid workers and hold them for ransom. The conduct of humanitarian operations has become very harardous, and thousands are dying because attacks on volunteers keep them from receiving relief supplies needed for survival. We therefore have new humanitarian crises, worldwide.

As a matter of past practice, charities and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have made a special effort to avoid any affiliation (and the impression of any affiliation) with security/ intelligence organizations, police forces, and/or paramilitary/ military forces. Voulnteers have typically engaged in relief efforts without benefit of training in safety, survival, and personal defense. The typical NGO attitude has been to "trust in the Lord, while doing the Lord's work to assist those in need." This approach no longer works because many terrorist and insurgent groups have declared that volunteers are a valid target.

Relief operations have all to often become a source of water, food, medical supplies, and other essentials needed by terrorist and insurgent groups. These groups take what they want by armed force, and local security forces (in most developing nations) do not have the means to stop such criminal conduct. Moreover, aid workers are being lost in the process in increasing numbers. A few small international relief organizations have been forced to cease operations due to increasing losses as a result of kidnapping, ambush, and assassination. In the name of humanity, the world needs solutions to this new threat.

http://www.helium.com/items/1128103-safety-for-volunteers-working-in-hazardous-areas

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/021561.php
 
#18
Israel is up to it's neck in war-crimes. Problem is that the UN can't do anything about it because the US wields it's veto. When individuals have tried to take action, [ for example in Britain ] the establishment has tipped of the Issies and successfully helped them avoid arrest in Britain.

RANDOM LIST:

Settlement of occupied territories.

Deportation of inhabitants of occupied territories.

Taking civilian hostages.

Directing attacks against civilians.

Summary executions.

Killing surrendered personell.

Directing attacks against aid-workers or UN

Collective punishments.

Apartheid.


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Atacks against the UN are very well documented beginning with the Israeli assassination of the Head of the UN Mission in 1948 [he had the temerity to recommend that the Palestinian refugees had the right of return to their homes].

The Issies are feeling pretty fireproof after 60 years of never being held to account. Their brazen use of DU weapons, white-phosphorous and tank flechette rounds against civilians shows just how arrogant in power they have become.

Here in the USA there are the first signs of the Bushistas being held to account for war-crimes. I think that Israel has severely underestimated the potential blow-back from their actions - the new administration now have just the excuse they need to rein them in.

Israel is not a viable state without the $20 million a day aid that it receives from the USA. Turn off that tap and you will see a real prospect for peace in the region.

RM
 
#19
Bergen said:
Israel is not a viable state without the $20 million a day aid that it receives from the USA. Turn off that tap and you will see a real prospect for peace in the region.

RM
Israel is like a sacrificial lamb.Not having an Israel will bring peace to the Middle East certainly,but then watch yer arse. Look, its simple to understand by this equation.
[Wog hates you +me+anyone that is not a wog= jihad.]+{wog thinks wog owns world and infidels should be maimed or killed or maybe just stoned to death}+(why have you not had yer daughters circumcised yet ) = for F**k sake wake up
 

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