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Better protection for internally displaced people camps


UN expert calls for better protection for internally displaced people camps after brutal car bomb attack in Pakistan

GENEVA / ISLAMABAD (28 March 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDP), Chaloka Beyani, today condemned the vicious attack on Pakistan’s largest IDP camp, and called for better protection for humanitarian facilities. Mr. Beyani also urged the Pakistani authorities to investigate and prosecute those responsible.

“The death of innocent displaced persons in the Jalozai IDP camp is unacceptable,” said the human rights expert, offering his sincere condolences to the victims’ families. “The humanitarian nature of the IDP camp must be maintained, and adequate safety arrangements must urgently be put in place to protect the displaced and allow a safe work environment for humanitarian agencies.”

On Thursday 21 March 2013, ten civilians and one aid worker lost their lives and many more were injured when a bomb exploded at the Jalozai camp for internally displaced persons, Nowsherae district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan. In the indiscriminate attack, innocent civilians, aid workers and members of the local administration became victims of an improvised explosive device planted in a car within the camp.

“Such attacks against IDP camps are prohibited under all circumstances. Humanitarian aid workers must be protected and should not become the object of an attack,” Mr. Beyani said. “Indiscriminate attacks are inhuman and banned in international humanitarian law,” the Special Rapporteur underscored, calling on all parties to abide by the rules of international law.

The rights expert warned that the insecure working environment should be addressed so that it does not become an obstacle to the protection and provision of assistance to internally displaced persons in Nowsherae district.

Echoing the UN Humanitarian Coordinator and the UN Refugee Agency, the independent expert urged the Pakistani authorities to strengthen safety measures and improve security arrangements around Jalozai camp in order to ensure the safety and security of IDPs as well as of humanitarian workers and to guarantee the continuation of relief activities.

The Special Rapporteur also expressed deep gratitude for the UN commitment in Pakistan to assist and protect the internally displaced in this difficult and dangerous operating environment. “The work of the United Nations and international and national civil society for the uprooted is indispensable to protect lives,” he stressed.

ENDS

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