syrian civil war
The horror of the killing fields in Rwanda gave rise to the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine. In a word, if such mass atrocity crimes are being committed, and the state where these crimes are occurring is unwilling or unable to act -- or worse, is the author of such international crimes -- the Responsibility to Protect arises.
The Makani Centre sits in front of one of the only green spaces in Baqaa. Makani Centres are UNICEF-support initiatives to expand learning opportunities for vulnerable children in Jordan. Here in Baqaa it is a hive of activity for those Syrian children who cannot go to school.
Going into the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul, there are good reasons why conflict and violence remain high on the agenda, but these reasons are not new. Conflicts and violence exact a brutal toll on people and affected communities as tragic civilian deaths, injuries, rape and torture become a daily experience
The conflict in Syria remains the deadliest in the world today, with almost 70,000 killed since the start of 2015. However, it's not the only war costing thousands of lives. Entering its second year, Yemen's civil war has seen more than 8,000 civilian casualties.
This week, World Vision released a video showing what it might be like to have your classroom torn apart by war. In about two minutes, Life As a Classroom shows the destruction of once-friendly schoolroom over Syria's five-year conflict. As the video opens we see the teacher energetically teaching from the front. The walls are covered with colourful posters and a map of the world. All is peaceful. All is as it should be. Suddenly we hear the chanting of political protests in the street outside. Teacher and students move to the windows to look out. That's when things begin to change.
The first planes filled with Syrian refugees are touching down in Canada this week. We will no longer just be following their heartbreaking stories from a distance. Some of the people caught in this devastating conflict, people who have been so hotly debated about in the media, in workplaces, and around dinner tables, will now have a new home and a new life here in Canada. In order for this transition to happen, the Canadian newcomers will need much more than roofs over their heads and three square meals a day. It's absolutely essential that they feel welcome and supported.
Yes the Syrian refugees that briefly broke our hearts are real people living a nightmare, but let's see even more, let us "think with history". Their situation, as any situation, was borne of consequence. They are a living mass of real life repercussions.
Bassam Katbe and his siblings left Syria nearly two decades ago, but their parents stayed because they were settled there and, at the time, the situation was relatively stable.
I am unwilling to shake off the horror of seeing Alan Kurdi lying face down on the beach. If it were just one child, just one death, the story would still be heartbreaking. But the outraged conversations across Canada have quickly expanded to include Canada's wider response to this terrible conflict.
Alan Kurdi's image has captivated the world's attention and focused it on the ways in which those with the ability to rescue desperate people have failed to do so, to staggeringly horrific effect. It has focused Canada's attention, because whether or not he had hoped to join his family in Canada, he certainly has Canadian family that cared for him deeply. But Canada's government is not alone in being blameworthy; rather, it is in good company.