Halla lost her entire family to US bombing during the war in Iraq. She now lives with her grandmother. Through the work of Campaign for Innocent Victims In Conflict (CIVIC) and its founder Marla Ruzicka, the family received a $5000 sympathy payment from the US government.

CIVIC started in 2003 when its founder Marla Ruzicka began going door to door in Iraq advocating for civilians that had been harmed during the conflict. Marla was killed in 2005 in an explosion in Baghdad, but her mission to protect and help civilians lives on today. In May 2019, Dropbox followed CIVIC team members with a camera crew to Baghdad and Mosul, where they met with locals and military officials regarding the protection needs of civilians. CIVIC is incredibly thankful to Dropbox for shining a light on Marla’s incredible memory and the work we do at CIVIC.


90% of casualties from conflict and war are civilian.

“This is an incredible number,” says Federico Borello, Executive Director at the Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC). “That means that only 10% of casualties are actual combatants fighting each other.”

From the civil war in Yemen to crises throughout western Africa, global conflicts are on the rise over the last 30 years. And yet civilians are the ones who bear the brunt of the violence.

One of these civilian victims was CIVIC’s founder, Marla Ruzicka. In the midst of the Iraq War, Ruzicka spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan to learn firsthand what civilians were facing and what policies might be effective in improving their safety. She was killed in an explosion in Baghdad in 2005.

Read the rest on the Dropbox wesbite

Image courtesy of J.B. Russell
About the author