World Vision Media Relations Manager,
International News & Disasters
Amman, JORDAN (June 3, 2013) — World Vision is increasingly alarmed at reports of thousands of civilians, including many women and children, caught in the middle of the fierce battle for control of Qusair in western Syria. Reports estimate nearly 1,500 people are wounded and unable to flee the area for help.
“There must be safe passage provided immediately for the trapped civilians, who are mostly children and women. They cannot wait for the end of military action. Many will be killed or injured if they are kept trapped in the middle of this war zone,” said Conny Lenneberg, World Vision’s regional leader for the Middle East.
World Vision calls upon all parties to ensure children in Qusair are protected in line with International Humanitarian Law and the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Children and Armed Conflict.
All military actors must take immediate measures to safeguard children and other civilians from both direct attack and the indirect effects of armed conflict. They must ensure that children and other civilians are able to physically move away from combat areas.
All civilians, especially children, in need of medical care must have safe access to adequate care now without reprisal. All parties to the conflict must immediately provide humanitarian access for essential services to be provided to children and their families.
“The plight of these children trapped for days under the most intense bombardment must be a wake-up call for the world to stop ignoring international law and the rights and needs of children,” said Lenneberg. “We must all demand their safe passage out.”
It is vital, as conflict in Syria continues, that all parties involved must provide a safe and secure environment for civilian-led life-saving aid to be delivered by humanitarian organizations, and Syrian civilians who are not armed actors, in an impartial manner, based on independent needs assessments whenever possible, to all vulnerable people, on all sides of the conflict.
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About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews