The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines humanitarian, "As a person promoting human welfare and social reform", but it goes much deeper than that. For some, it is a calling and they risk their lives traveling to conflict zones or areas affected by natural disasters to help others.
There are four main principles that guide all humanitarian efforts.
Human suffering must be addressed to protect all life and ensure respect for all human beings. Everyone must be treated humanely and equally in all circumstances.
All action is identified by need with no distinctions for issues such as nationality, race, gender, religious belief, class or political opinions.
No sides are taken in situations of armed conflict.
Action is not influenced by political, economic, military, or other objectives set by a foreign government or domestic policy.
World Humanitarian Day was established by the United Nations in 2009 after 22 U.N. aide workers were killed in the bombing of the United Nations Baghdad headquarters in 2003. The work is dangerous. It takes courage to push beyond one's own ideologies, to be open, accepting, and tolerant and August 19th is a day to pay tribute to all the people who have dedicated their lives to helping others.
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