It was a massacre that shocked the world’s humanitarian community. Seventeen aid workers were killed outside their office in Sri Lanka’s northeast–executed at point-blank range with automatic weapons in one of the worst attacks on humanitarians.
A decade on, justice remains elusive for families of the victims, all Sri Lankan nationals, says Action Contra La Faim (ACF), the charity where they worked. ACF has found evidence they were likely assassinated by Sri Lankan security forces and that their attackers must have been shielded by Sri Lankan top authorities.
As aid workers across the globe gathered on Friday to mark World Humanitarian Day, paying tribute to those killed working on front lines of crises, experts say much more needs to be done to ensure perpetrators are held accountable.
In 2015 alone, 109 aid workers were killed, 110 injured and 68 kidnapped in attacks in countries such as Afghanistan, South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and Syria, according to consulting group Humanitarian Outcomes.
Yet experts say few, if any, of the 148 attacks, which included physical and sexual assault, bombings, shootings and kidnappings, have been independently investigated and satisfactory justice served.