By: Piper Hendricks and Kate Raley

On this International Day of Peace, CIVIC stands committed to strengthening the United Nations’ ideals of peace and reaffirms our call for a world where armed actors recognize the dignity and the rights of civilians, actively prevent civilian harm, protect civilians caught in conflict, and offer amends when harm occurs.

Today, wars are increasingly fought in cities, away from the traditional battlefields of the past. Civilians who have not, or could not, flee often bear the brunt of the violence. Civilian infrastructure is regularly the target of airstrikes, and civilian casualties are increasingly accepted as a by-product of conflict. Armed actors flagrantly violate international humanitarian law, with civilians suffering the consequences.

The horrors of war are not new, but its disproportionately devastating impact on civilians is. As this graphic from the Center for Systemic Peace clearly depicts, those losing their lives in modern wars are increasingly the people not fighting them:

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