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LAW Report: Justice and accountability for attacks on aid workers

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4 June 2024

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LAW Report: Justice and accountability for attacks on aid workers

Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) is an organisation dedicated to empowering individuals and communities who have suffered human rights violations and abuses to obtain justice and strengthen institutions to deliver justice to them.

This new research report from LAW examines the barriers to justice and accountability for aid workers and how to overcome them.

About the report

In 2023, the number of aid workers killed was double that of 2022 and the numbers of aid workers killed in 2024 will create an unprecedented and horrific record high. The UN Security Council has passed ten resolutions urging states to ensure that unlawful killings of aid workers do not remain unpunished. However, to date, they have continued with almost total impunity. Access to justice and accountability for aid workers plays an essential role in combatting impunity for unlawful attacks against civilians, thus contributing to enhancing the protection of civilians more generally. But various barriers prevent aid workers from accessing justice and accountability, impacting staff members differently depending on their country of origin.

With the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 2022, LAW launched a new project to support humanitarian organisations and aid workers in obtaining justice and accountability for violence committed against them. This report looks at two main questions:

  • What prevents so many aid workers, particularly national staff, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from seeking justice and holding perpetrators of violence accountable?
  • What can be done to support aid workers to address these barriers and access justice and accountability?

Six recommendations

The report identifies six key recommendations:

  1. Establish a pool of qualified and independent lawyers to provide free legal information, assistance and representation.
  2. Create a roster of deployable and experienced experts/investigators and online helpline.
  3. Ensure systematic dialogue and a response to the targeting of aid workers.
  4. Report on action taken on justice and accountability, including investigations, to the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly.
  5. Improve internal procedures to ensure that aid workers can safely access legal assistance.
  6. Support organisations who pursue justice and accountability.

Learn more at the LAW website, or download the report from this page.


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