Cristosal's Chief Program Officer Celia Medrano was featured in a panel of experts on August 19 at the World Humanitarian Day in Panama. Medrano described victims of forced displacement by violence as "invisible, unrecognized, and uncomfortable." Victims do not want to be visible, because they are fleeing from their aggressors. They are unrecognized by the State, which fails in its duty to protect and assist these victims. They are uncomfortable because they are seen as a burden, and because those who do demand their rights highlight the government's failure to fulfill its duties.
The event was attended by the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O'Brien. Other panelists included the Norwegian Council for Refugees (CNR), the International Red Cross (ICRC), and Landivar University of Guatemala.
The World Humanitarian Day is an annual tribute to people who have risked and lost their lives in humanitarian service. This year's event focused on protecting civilians caught up in conflict, with the reminder that civilians are #NotATarget. One of the specific focuses of this campaign is protecting forcibly displaced people.
Learn more and sign a petition reminding world leaders to respect and protect civilians in conflict at http://worldhumanitarianday.org.
Watch the Spanish video of the panel discussion here.