Ireland Despite the Covid-19, Handicap International pays tribute to the victims of conflicts

11:25  26 september  2020
11:25  26 september  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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Des prothèses de jambe exposées dans une tente de l'ONG Handicap International, place de la République à Paris en septembre 2018. © Zakaria ABDELKAFI / AFP Leg prostheses on display in a tent of the NGO Handicap International, Place de la République in Paris in September 2018.

Each Year, Handicap International erects shoe pyramids to symbolize the limbs lost by civilian victims of anti-personnel mines or bombings in inhabited areas. This year, because of Covid, the NGO has chosen another means to attract attention: frescoes on city walls, but the message remains the same. We must treat the victims and also warn of the devastation of conflicts on civilian populations.

A child with a leg amputated and the threatening silhouette of a bomb, the image is striking on this Parisian wall. For passers-by it is a fresco but it is a reality for Rana, a Lebanese physiotherapist who takes care of Syrian children, victims of the war in their country.

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Rana notably remembers a little girl she had taken care of. “She was 9 when I met her. She suffered a spinal cord injury from receiving shrapnel on her back and is severely disabled. For a long time she could not walk. A little girl's place is at school, not at the hospital, "continues the Lebanese physiotherapist, who is well aware of the devastation of the bombings on the civilian population.

“In fact, conflicts are becoming more and more urban. When explosive weapons are used in urban areas, 90% of the victims are civilians. When nine out of ten victims are civilians, we can no longer speak of collateral damage, it is contrary to international law, something must be done ", protested Anne Héry, in charge of advocacy for the NGO.

Handicap International and other NGOs are campaigning for the adoption of an international declaration governing the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. Around 100 countries are currently participating in the discussions.

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