A Renewed Commitment to Protecting Aid Workers

Remembering our Sri Lankan colleagues and seeking action from the UN Human Rights Council
Muttur campaign
An image from our December campaign in the Paris metro.

Update - March 27, 2014: We're pleased to announce that the United Nations Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution seeking justice and reconciliation for the deaths of our humanitarian aid workers in Muttur, Sri Lanka in 2006. An international, independent investigation will now be opened, and Action Against Hunger will be fully supportive.

On August 3, 2006, Action Against Hunger’s humanitarian aid workers in the town of Muttur, Sri Lanka were doing what they did every day—helping the population recover from the devastating tsunami that had ravaged the region nearly two years before. On August 4, 2006, everything changed—17 of our employees were killed. And today, some seven years later, these crimes remain unpunished.

We have long sought justice for our colleagues and their families, and also in the spirit of emphasizing the importance of protecting the aid workers who devote their lives to critical humanitarian efforts around the world. This past December, for example, our team in France launched a campaign in Paris metro stations, inviting people to walk the platform and experience what happened in Muttur through a series of billboards. The last billboard was a blank one, inviting them to sign on their support. As you’ll see in this summary video, it didn’t stay blank for long.

This month, the United Nations Human Rights Council is gathering for its 25th session. We’re calling on the Council for a strong resolution allowing an international and independent inquiry into the deaths of our aid workers. Our own inquiry reveals evidence implicating members of Sri Lanka’s security forces in the crimes, and we now need the UN’s support in assessing its own investigation to render justice.

You can help by signing on to the campaign Thunderclap, and can learn more by visiting the campaign website. (The campaign video on the website contains some images that may be difficult to watch – viewer discretion is advised).

Our hearts will forever be with our lost aid workers, and we won’t rest until justice has been rendered. Thanks so much for your support.

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About Elisabeth Anderson Rapport

Elisabeth Anderson Rapport, Senior Communications Officer

Elisabeth is Action Against Hunger's senior communications officer, reporting on our impact and current events around the world.