Photo: Wil Crisp/IRIN
Photo: Wil Crisp/IRIN

Every year on August 19, World Humanitarian Day highlights and celebrates the work of humanitarian workers around the globe, and commemorates all of those who have lost their lives through their service.

Reports this month highlight the increased risks of detention, deportation, refoulment and abuse faced by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Libya, due to loss of support when organisations were been forced to withdraw due to risk to staff safety.

This year, attacks on humanitarian aid workers are said to be at record high.

Aid organisations need to take steps to protect staff, and sometimes this means withdrawing from conflict areas where services and support are needed most.

Heightened vulnerability of arrest and detention, or lack of safety, contributes then to individuals seeking to move onwards, by whatever means available, putting themselves at risk on dangerous overland or sea journeys. Those who survive the journey often risk arrest and detention in the receiving countries, as highlighted in the new Global Detention Project profile on Tunisia.

Governments struggling to respond to high numbers of people seeking protection continue to use detention, with the disturbing news that Palestinians fleeing Syria are being turned away from Jordan, many first experiencing detention in remote border areas.