Canadian Red Cross deplores the deaths of Syrian Arab Red Crescent aid workers, now confirmed at 31

Topics: National, International Humanitarian Law
November 14, 2013

Ottawa, November 14, 2013 – Last week, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent confirmed nine more deaths among their aid workers, bringing the number of Red Crescent workers in Syria who have died while delivering humanitarian services to 31. The confirmation came after the National Society re-established contact with two of its sub-branches, which were cut off due to on-going clashes in the area. This includes the loss of a worker who was transporting an injured person in a clearly marked Red Crescent ambulance.

These dedicated volunteers and staff were visibly wearing the Red Crescent emblem, which should have granted them protective status under International Humanitarian Law – so volunteers and staff can serve without fearing for their security and safety. This disrespect for the Red Crescent emblem must not continue.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems are universally recognized as symbols of neutrality and assistance. Their use is protected by International Humanitarian Law, and they must be respected.

The Canadian Red Cross stands in solidarity with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and joins members of the Movement in calling for all parties to the conflict in Syria to protect volunteers and aid workers, allowing them to work in safety.