Take the challenge!
A Social Media Action in Solidarity Against the Targeted Killing of Civilians and Humanitarians.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada has launched a social media act of solidarity to stand up for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, patients, medical staff and hospitals in conflicts.
On average, an MSF-supported health structure was bombed or shelled every single week in 2015 in Syria and in the first six weeks of 2016.
MSF’s health workers and health structures have also been targeted in Yemen, South Sudan and Afghanistan, amongst other countries, causing intolerable suffering, death and destruction. And this is only the tip of the iceberg of reported attacks.
What can you do?
- Print off the accompanying text and image and hold them up for your camera. Take a photo of yourself and share the photo on your social media. Include the hashtag #NotATarget. We will retweet and share your photo from our @MSFCanada Twitter account or Instagram.
- Change your profile picture with one of the images.
- Share the video on this page, and post these images on your social media.
- Challenge two friends, family members or colleagues to take action
These horrific attacks contravene humanitarian law and have a catastrophic impact on people already made vulnerable by war and violence. When hospitals are bombed, civilians are often severely maimed or killed, and those who survive lose access to the medical help they desperately need.
Why are we launching the #NotATarget campaign?
- To stand in solidarity with civilians, patients, medical workers and hospitals who continue to be targeted victims of attacks by armed groups around the world;
- To highlight the horrific consequences of targeted attacks on people;
- To demand the right of humanitarian workers to provide humanitarian care to people in need, particularly in conflict zones.
The world has reached a disturbing tipping point in modern warfare. After World War II, hundreds of countries agreed to protect civilians by signing onto the Geneva Conventions.
Today, these same countries are now ruthlessly bombing civilian targets.
The states that signed the Geneva Conventions, including United Nations member states and members of the Security Council, no longer seem compelled to uphold international humanitarian law, which regulates just and proportionate warfare.
February 2016 in Syria, where an airstrike bombed an MSF-supported hospital, was presumably carried out by the Syrian or Russian military. Twenty-five people died, and thousands more no longer have access to emergency medical care.
In Syria, 63 hospitals and clinics supported by MSF were hit by bombing and shelling in Syria more than 94 times – that’s on average more than once a week. In total, 23 MSF medical staff were killed, and 58 staff were wounded.
In Afghanistan, on October 3, 2015, the US military destroyed MSF’s hospital in Kunduz, killing 42 people – the highest number of staff and patients killed in a single incident in the history of the organization’s humanitarian work.
In Yemen, MSF medical activities were attacked four times in just three months between October 2015 and January 2016.
- October 26, 2015, when fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition repeatedly bombed a hospital.
- December 2, 2015, an MSF mobile clinic was hit by an airstrike, wounding eight people and killing one person nearby.
- January 10, 2016, an attack on the MSF-supported Shiara hospital killed six people and injured at least seven.
- January 21, 2016 an MSF ambulance was hit and its driver killed in a series of airstrikes in Saada Governate.
In Sudan, a hospital managed by MSF was bombed by the Sudanese Air Force on January 20, 2015, forcing the suspension of medical activities and thus cancelling medical care for thousands of Sudanese.
MSF cannot accept that this “new normal” should define modern warfare.
The targeted killing of civilians, medical staff and patients cannot continue, regardless of which armed force or forces is responsible.
MSF is seeking to grow the public’s awareness around this issue.
We encourage you to help us by participating in our #NotATarget social media campaign, and to take a stand in solidarity with innocent civilians and humanitarian aid workers around the world.