World Humanitarian Day

The United Nations’ (UN) World Humanitarian Day is held on August 19 each year. On this day, all humanitarians who have worked in the promotion of the humanitarian cause, and those who have sacrificed their lives in the cause of duty.  The aim of celebrating the day is to increase public awareness regarding the humanitarian assistance activities worldwide and the importance of international cooperation.

How World Humanitarian Day is being introduced?

World Humanitarian Day was established in 2008 by the United Nations General Assembly and was first officially celebrated in 2009. The date of 19th August was chosen as it marks the anniversary of the bombing of the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, an event in which the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mellothe and twenty others lost their lives.

How do people celebrate World Humanitarian Day?

World Humanitarian Day is a day dedicated to humanitarians worldwide, as well as to increase public understanding of humanitarian assistance activities. The day aims to honor humanitarian workers who have lost their lives or injured themselves in the course of their work and to acknowledge the ongoing work of humanitarian staff around the world.

Many communities and organizations try to increase the importance of humanitarians by distributing publicity and information material. Additionally, some try to speak to the press to help spread these key messages of World Humanitarian Day, while other groups organize public events worldwide that feature humanitarian work.

For the year 2010 and beyond, it is anticipated that World Humanitarian Day will focus on humanitarian themes to help increase public awareness.

Each year a different theme is chosen for World Humanitarian Day, for example, in the past, the themes have included We Are Humanitarian Workers’, One Humanity ‘and in 2017 Not A Target ‘reaffirming that civilians caught up in war zones should not become targets.