By Diyar Guldogan
ANKARA (AA) - Breaches of international humanitarian law persist in being as one of the biggest hurdles to protecting the safety of civilians worldwide, according to the European Union.
"Violations of International Humanitarian Law continue to be one of the most critical challenges for the protection of civilians, as well as the protection of humanitarian and medical workers," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Christos Stylianides, commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, said in a joint statement marking World Humanitarian Day 2019.
The EU pays tribute to the commitment of those who risk their lives to deliver humanitarian aid worldwide as they face growing risks, according to the statement.
"The unequivocal respect of international law, the safety and security of humanitarian workers and their unfettered access to those in need are a major concern for the European Union," it read.
According to the statement, in 2018 around 400 humanitarian workers were victims of major attacks.
"Over one-third of them were killed and the other third was kidnapped. World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to honor these dedicated humanitarians, and to advocate for their safety and security," it added.
In 2008, the UN General Assembly designated Aug. 19 World Humanitarian Day to raise awareness of humanitarian assistance worldwide and the people who risk their lives to provide it. The date marks the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, killing 22 people.