MONTREAL, Sept. 26, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - As Canada continues to race for a seat in the next vote for the UN Security Council, Humanity & Inclusion (HI) is calling on Canadian Members of Parliament to stop the bombing of populated areas, an almost systematic practice in present-day conflicts, of which more than 90% of casualties are civilians.
Politicians must bring it to an end. To achieve this, our organisation is calling on Members of Parliament in eight countries including Canada to take a stand against this scourge by signing the "Stop Bombing Civilians" petition and advancing this cause in parliament. We are also asking them to invite their respective governments to commit to ending the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
HI has been appealing to politicians in eight countries - Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States - since September 1st. Its action has included sending 4,000 letters and organizing meetings with the offices of Members of Parliament to raise their awareness and convince them to take action against the bombing of civilians.
The bombing of populated areas has a disastrous impact on civilians, including death, disabling injuries, psychological trauma, forced displacement, destruction of vital infrastructure such as hospitals and schools, and the contamination of areas by explosive remnants of war.
For example, more than 800,000 people were forced to flee bombing during the military offensive on the Iraqi city of Mosul between October 2016 and July 2017. An estimated 8 million tons of rubble has been contaminated by explosive remnants, hindering the return of residents and the reconstruction of seriously damaged cities. In Syria, cities like Kobane, Raqqa and Homs have been devastated by the intensive use of explosive weapons. Decontamination and reconstruction will take decades to complete.
"Since more than 90% of casualties are civilians, they can no longer be considered as collateral damage. By appealing to all our Members of Parliament, we hope that this campaign will ensure politicians are better informed, raise public awareness and get people talking about the issue, and encourage our representatives to take a stand and find concrete solutions to this scourge," explains Jérôme Bobin, Executive Director of Humanity & Inclusion in Canada.
Stop bombing civilians
HI has been implementing an international campaign to say "Stop Bombing Civilians". The organization aims at collecting 1 million signatures to submit to the United Nations, whose first objective is to "maintain peace and security in the world". Member of the INEW (International Network on Explosive Weapons) coalition, HI is calling on all states to end the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
Co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, Humanity & Inclusion (the new name for Handicap International) is an independent, impartial 36-year-old organization working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. The NGO has become particularly well known for its fight against antipersonnel mines, cluster munitions and assistance to the victims of these weapons. The Canadian section of HI was created in 2003.
SOURCE Humanity & Inclusion Canada
For further information: Media contacts, HI CANADA, Gabriel Perriau, Communications Officer, 514 908-2813 #229, [email protected]; HI US, Mica Bevington, Media Relations, 301 891 2138, [email protected]