International Aid Work a Deadly Profession
Written by Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 10 (IPS) - The United
Nations says that international aid work is one of the world's most
hazardous professions, in which humanitarian workers are constantly
threatened with -- or victims of -- kidnappings, harassment, detention
and deadly violence.
A U.N. study, currently before the 192-member General Assembly, points
out that hundreds of aid workers and U.N. humanitarian personnel
continue to face risks in some of the world's major trouble spots,
including Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Israel
"By any measure," says U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, "international aid work is a dangerous profession."
A comparison of on-the-job death rates in the top 10 most
hazardous civilian occupations would place aid workers at number five
after loggers (92.4 per 100,000 workers), pilots (92.4), fishermen
(86.4) and structural iron and steel workers (47.0), according to the
U.S. Department of Labour.