On 11 December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly decided to designate 19 August as World Humanitarian Day (WHD). The Day gives special recognition to all humanitarian, UN and other personnel who have worked in the promotion of the humanitarian cause, and commemorates those of them who have lost their lives in the cause of duty.

It marks the day on which the then Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Sérgio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his colleagues tragically made the ultimate sacrifice following the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad on 19 August 2003.

You can find further information on the website of the Sérgio Vieira de Mello Foundation. In 2017, World Humanitarian Day came together in solidarity with the millions of people caught in armed conflict. Civilians are #NotATarget Find out more on the World Humanitarian Day website - this site has a petition to world leaders, lots of stories and film clips.

There is also further background information on the UN World Humanitarian Day observance web pages. The following video was created for WHD 2017  to demand world leaders do everything in their power to protect the millions of civilians caught in armed conflict: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMIuWqaDnnw

Organised by

United Nations