The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA) joins the United Nations and the world community on August 19, 2016 to honor humanitarians who have sacrificed their lives, and those who are currently working around the world to bring vital services and resources to the world’s most vulnerable populations. August 19 was designated World Humanitarian Day by the United Nations in 2009 to honor the victims of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq.

This year’s theme is “One Humanity,” to highlight the 130 million people around the world in need of humanitarian assistance for survival, and to promote the World Humanitarian Summit that was held earlier this year in May where world leaders came together in Istanbul, Turkey and made commitments to providing humanitarian assistance.

 The global community recognize this year’s Humanitarian Day amidst a rise in violence and violation of human rights and human dignity around the world. Countries are throne a pat by wars and conflict, millions of people are displaced and forced to seek refuge, and the daily loss of innocent lives  as a result of hate, terror and violence have taken a huge toll on humanity and continues to challenge our core and basic human values.  

 Today as we honor humanitarians worldwide that have given their lives to help our world’s most vulnerable populations, we are also bearing witness to some of the most heinous human rights abuses one can imagine. We stand in solidarity with the people of Syria, who are enduring a horrific civil war, and fighting to survive airstrikes and other forms of extreme violence, hunger, extreme poverty and displacement. The most recent news story of August 18 detailed the injuries of Syrian children in an airstrike. The face of a young child rescued from a bombed building and waiting for help in an ambulance is a painful image and a clear testament to the turmoil many face worldwide everyday, especially children.  

 Here at home in the United States, citizens of Baton Rouge are enduring their own struggles through the worst storms and flooding of the season. Those that are already living in poverty and distressed communities are now facing the devastation of storms and  flooding due to destroyed homes and neighborhood, as well as injuries and tragic deaths.

 “As we recognize today as World Humanitarian Day,  we are reminded that as humans we live in a shared world with a shared common humanity,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director. “We have the ability and the responsibility to make this world a better place for all where people are able to live where their is a shared respect for human rights and human dignity for all,” added Mr. Hamad. 

 AHRC-USA strongly encourages all peace-loving people to actively engage in making a difference in their own communities and communities across the world in need of assistance and resources. The UN Day theme, One Humanity, should serve as a reminder of the needs of people, and inspiration for all of us to make a difference. 

 For more information about World Humanitarian Day, please visit

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