Protecting civilians in armed conflict
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Eastern Ghouta: TV campaign to advocate humanitarian access

13th March 2018 | Syria - Humanitarian norms

Humanitarian access

Geneva Call has just relaunched its TV campaign in Eastern Ghouta in a bid to urge all armed actors active in this area to guarantee safe humanitarian access, respect hospitals and medical personnel and refrain from using child soldiers in this conflict. By repeating this campaign, Geneva Call is seeking to support current humanitarian efforts to deliver aid to the trapped population.

Since the start of the major military operation in Eastern Ghouta in February, the humanitarian situation of the 400,000 people still living there has rapidly deteriorated: they are regularly affected by combat and shelling, and they lack food, water and basic services, including health services. Despite the United Nations agreement on a ceasefire, voted on 24 February, little humanitarian aid has been delivered to the population living in this enclave, located a few kilometres away from Damascus and held by several different armed actors.

In addition to this campaign, Geneva Call has also maintained a humanitarian dialogue with the leaders of the Islam Army (Jeish al-Islam), one of the main armed groups active in Eastern Ghouta. Following a five-day online training session for 60 of its middle-ranking commanders in May 2017, Geneva Call met with its representatives a few weeks ago and reminded them of the importance of taking measures to protect civilians in the conflict and allow humanitarian access.

Geneva Call engages in humanitarian dialogue with armed actors to make sure that the law of armed conflict is respected so as to increase the protection of civilians. In Syria, Geneva Call has been in contact with several armed groups since the beginning of the conflict and all over the country. Its media campaigns have not only raised awareness of the law of armed conflict among the members of armed groups themselves but also among several million people across the country.