August 05, 2016

Soccer unites against the bombing of civilians

STOP-BOMBING-CIVILIANS_Square_Picto_framed_red_white.jpgWhen Real Madrid play Sevilla FC in the UEFA Super Cup in the Norwegian city of Trondheim on Tuesday August 9 (2:45 PM ET), the UEFA Foundation for Children will join Handicap International in condemning the use of explosive weapons in populated areas in the world’s recent and current conflicts. During the opening ceremony, two Afghan and Syrian children with disabilities, now refugees in Norway, will escort the team captains to the field. Together, they will carry the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League cups onto the field.

Handicap International ensures that the rights of people with disabilities are upheld worldwide and promotes their full inclusion in society. The UEFA Foundation is backing the organization’s latest international campaign to stop the bombing of civilians, which causes large numbers of casualties, many of them children. At halftime, a video featuring players from the match will share the Stop Bombing Civilians! message, and condemn the unbearable threat currently hanging over millions of civilians worldwide. This solemn moment will remind people that most victims of bomb attacks are civilians and underline the urgent need to protect them by applying international conventions that are currently in force.

At halftime, a video featuring players from the match will share the Stop Bombing Civilians! message and condemn the unbearable threat currently hanging over millions of civilians worldwide. This solemn moment will remind people that most victims of bomb attacks are civilians and underline the urgent need to protect them by applying international conventions that are currently in force.

This event will mark the launch of Handicap International’s digital campaign to the public. Everyone is invited to support the campaign by signing the Stop bombing civilians! petition. They can learn more at www.stop-bombing-civilians.org.

Bombing civilians is not war - it’s a crime

Nearly 44,000 people were maimed or killed in 2015 by explosive weapons worldwide. Of those, 76% were civilians. When these weapons were used in populated areas, 92% of victims were civilians.

Used on a massive scale in urban areas in recent armed conflicts, explosive weapons (missiles, rockets, artillery shells, aerial bombs, cluster bombs, etc.) cause tens of thousands of new civilian casualties every year. These weapons cause suffering and serious injuries including amputation, serious disabilities and deep psychological trauma. They destroy homes, schools and hospitals. Following the end of a conflict, weapons that have not exploded on impact pose a threat not just to people’s safety but also present an obstacle to a country’s reconstruction. As a result, they force people into extreme poverty.

International humanitarian law (IHL) bans parties to a conflict from targeting civilians and civilian buildings. Any attack must respect the distinction between civilians and combatants. However, in current conflicts, belligerents regularly use explosive weapons with a capacity to impact a wide area in cities and populated areas. This unacceptable practice, which kills and maims large numbers of civilians, is a violation of key provisions of IHL.

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Handicap International

Handicap International has spent the past three decades campaigning against anti-personnel mines and cluster bombs, which led to the signing of the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty (1997) and the Oslo Convention on Cluster Munitions (2008). Since 2011, Handicap International has mobilized the international community against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. It is currently involved in a large-scale information and awareness-raising campaign against these weapons. 

The UEFA Foundation for Children

The Foundation was set up in April 2015, reflecting UEFA’s desire to play a more active role in society and communities. The foundation uses sport, and football in particular, to support humanitarian projects linked to children’s rights. The foundation aims to provide support in the areas of health and education, as well as promoting access to sporting activity, facilitating children’s personal development and fostering the integration of minorities. It also works to help safeguard children’s rights. Learn more at https://uefafoundation.org/

Contact:

Mica Bevington, Director of Communications and Marketing
Handicap International US
 +1 (240) 450-3531
 mica_bevington@yahoo.co.uk