Unifor mourns humanitarian aid workers killed in Gaza and demands justice and safe working conditions for workers in conflict zones

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A young couple the mom is carring a baby in a back pack.

Unifor mourns the deaths of the seven aid workers from the non-profit organization World Central Kitchen, recently killed in Gaza when their convoy was struck by an Israeli military drone. 

“The targeting of aid workers is not only in serious breach of international law, but a violation of the fundamental right of workers' ability to perform their duties safely and without physical harm”, said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “More needs to be done to ensure the protection of international humanitarian workers risking their lives to provide essential food, water, shelter and medicine in the aid of innocent civilians caught in the middle of war. These assaults discourage other aid organizations from continuing their vital work in conflict zones, exacerbating the risks to civilian life."

A man wearing sunglasses and hat carries plactic garbage

The Union endorses the global calls for a comprehensive, independent inquiry into the events leading to these casualties. Among the seven aid workers killed was 33-year-old, Jacob Flickinger, a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen who was born in Quebec and had been volunteering with the aid organization since March of this year. The other World Central Kitchen workers killed are Lalzawmi 'Zomi' Frankcom (43), Damian Sobol (35), Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha (25), John Chapman (57), James Kirby (47) and James Henderson (33).

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has reported that nearly 200 humanitarian aid workers have lost their live since the Hamas-Israel war began in October of last year. This is far more than the total number of humanitarian aid workers killed in 2022 alone, at 115, as recorded in the Aid Worker Security Database

Unifor joins the international community in urgently calling for an end to violence. 

Media Contact

Hamid Osman

National Communications Representative