Director General Honours Humanitarian Aid Workers at Westminster Abbey

United Kingdom - IOM Director General William Lacy Swing yesterday (18/8) attended the 3rd Memorial Event for Humanitarian Aid Workers to mark today’s World Humanitarian Day.

The memorial gave the opportunity for people, regardless of nationality and faith, to come together as a community of support to honour and remember the humanitarians who have lost their lives in the service of humanitarianism, to recognise common humanitarian ideals and to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian action around the globe.

At the event, Ambassador Swing reflected upon the untimely death of untold numbers of humanitarian aid workers, including IOM staff, paying tribute to their noble work and sacrifice, as a result of the sheer number of concurrent crises and disasters around the globe.

“We must stand together to protect humanitarians and the humanitarian space which allows us to do the critical work of saving lives and assisting people at risk. Let us resolve anew to support those affected by crisis and to ensure the safety and security of our humanitarian workers,” said Ambassador Swing.

The wreath-laying took place outside Westminster Abbey at the Memorial for Innocent Victims of Oppression, Violence and War. The event was organised by the Committee for the Memorial for Humanitarian Aid Workers, chaired by Dame Barbara Stocking, Vice Chair of the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response and former Chief Executive of Oxfam GB. Other speakers at the event included Minister of State at the Department for International Development Rory Stewart OBE MP, Saleh Saeed (CEO of the Disasters Emergency Committee), Loretta Minghella (CEO of Christian Aid), Elaine Laycock, Alan Witcutt and Mike Haines.

The committee members, former and present leaders of the humanitarian sector and bereaved family members have set themselves the task of commissioning a permanent memorial for Humanitarian Aid Workers in London, to commemorate the ideals of humanity as an inspiration for the future.

For more information about this initiative, please visit the Memorial for Humanitarian Aid Workers website.

For further information, please contact Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: + 41 791038720, Email: