In developing countries, more than 24,848 civilians were killed by explosive violence in 2017. Explosive violence is one of the main causes of the worldwide refugee crisis.
Chiswick-based charity, International Refugee Trust (IRT) recently attended a meeting at The House of Lords with The All Party Parliamentary Group on Explosive Threats (APPG) to discuss the issue.
The APPG works with various charities and humanitarian organisations to determine how Parliament can help to reduce explosive violence in developing countries and support victims.
At the meeting, The APPG on Explosive Threats launched an awareness campaign to highlight its inquiry into assistance to victims of explosive violence. It has set up the REVIVE Campaign Ltd as a not-for-profit organisation to undertake its research, fundraising and activity management. ‘REVIVE’ stands for Reduce Explosive Violence Increase Victim Empowerment.
The fatalities recorded in 2017 showed a staggering increase of 175% compared to 2011, when the APPG was first created. The previous year, 2016, saw the highest number of annual recorded casualties since 1999 (9,228), the most child casualties ever recorded, and the highest number of annual casualties caused by improvised explosives.
Roger Mullin, former SNP MP and former chairman of the APPG, is to be REVIVE Campaign’s first Chair.
Speaking at the launch in the House of Lords, Mr Mullin said, ‘It is so important for REVIVE Campaign to work with the International Refugee Trust. The indiscriminate use of IEDs is often a major factor in people becoming refugees as they escape from the horrors of violence. But becoming a refugee is of course not an answer to the problems people face. They often carry serious physical and mental scars from being victims of violence, and this is an area of particular concern to REVIVE. Hopefully REVIVE and IRT will be effective partners in this great humanitarian cause.’
Steve Smith, CEO at IRT, said: ‘IRT is helping refugees overseas in numerous ways. Every day, we see the effects of explosive violence in developing countries. Landmines, shellfire, air-launched weapons, missiles and IEDs kill and disable indiscriminately, leaving tens of thousands in need of urgent medical care and prosthetic limbs. More work is required, not only to help victims, but also to raise awareness of this shocking humanitarian catastrophe.’
Jessica Eames, Fundraising Manager at IRT, added: ‘We are also working with the local community in Chiswick who are helping us to raise awareness and vital funds for our work. We are incredibly grateful to the Chiswick community. Without their support, we would not be able to continue our important work with refugees overseas.’