#NotATarget: Standing Up for Civilians on World Humantrian Day


August 16, 2017

Millions of civilians are affected by armed conflict every day. Children hide from bombs instead of their friends in a game of hide and seek. Families too often mourn loved ones, rather than celebrate birthdays and graduations. And, doctors and nurses treat the wounded and sick while they are targeted and injured themselves. Faced with these challenges, they are often forced to flee their homes and leave behind family and friends.

These are just a few snapshots of lives of people affected by conflict around the world, and while action is being taken to put people first, much more must be done.


This Saturday, August 19, marks World Humanitarian Day.  The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and its partners are urging people around the world to declare that women, children, families, health workers, the elderly, the disabled and all civilians caught up in conflict are #NotATarget. OCHA’s campaign calls on world leaders to strengthen their commitments and take concrete action to protect these civilians. It also calls on us to join in solidarity with them.

Tell the world and our leaders that civilians are #NotATarget


Sometimes these big and complex global issues can seem insurmountable, but, as we know, small actions can equal up to big change. Here are four ways you can support World Humanitarian Day 2017 and the UN’s #NotATarget campaign.  

  • Sign the petition to protect civilians trapped in conflict. Visit worldhumanitarianday.org to sign the petition and encourage your family and friends to do so too.
  • Share the #NotATarget campaign on social media. Download one of these social media graphics and post it with this message: 
    • On #WorldHumanitarianDay, I stand up for civilians trapped in conflict. They are #NotATarget.  Sign the petition! WorldHumanitarianDay.org 
    • Tip: You can change civilian to any group you wish to highlight: children, doctors, families, etc.
  • Organize a Stand Together event with your colleagues or family. Download the pre-made #NotATarget sign or create your own. Stand with your colleagues, family or friends wherever you are and take a picture holding the sign. Share your photo on social media using the hashtag #NotATarget.
  • Record a Facebook Live with the #NotATarget filter. Starting on August 18th, visit UNOCHA’s Facebook page where you can find a link to the filter. Record a live video and share why you’re recognizing World Humanitarian Day.

Our voices are louder and stronger when they’re together, so let’s join in solidarity to tell the world and our leaders that civilians in conflict are #NotATarget.

Take Action Challenge

  • Sign the petition at www.worldhumanitarianday.org to call on world leaders to act to protect civilians. Be sure to share the petition with your family and friends so they can sign too.
  • Take a look at the list of ways you can support World Humanitarian Day, pick your favorite and take action! Share your plans with us using the hashtag #GlobalMoms.

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