News

Violence against Health Care: The Problem and the Law

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Health workers and patients face extraordinary risks in today’s armed conflicts. Part I of the International Review of the Red Cross’s thematic issue on violence against health care focuses on patterns of attacks, based on results from data collection and field studies. The issue also outlines the legal and ethical frameworks that apply to the provision of health care.

Coalition: Civilian Health in Gaza in Grave Jeopardy from Attacks on Facilities, Ambulances, and Infrastructure

Thursday, July 31, 2014
We, the undersigned members of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition, demand that the government of Israel, Hamas, and armed groups respect their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law to respect and protect health facilities, transports, and personnel, and to make health services available to all people in need of care. The Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition promotes the security of health workers and services threatened by war or civil unrest.

May Marks Deadliest Month for Medical Personnel in Syria; June was Second Highest for Facility Attacks

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today released the latest numbers on attacks on health care in Syria, which show that – with 30 deaths – May was the deadliest month for medical professionals. Twelve new attacks on medical facilities were recorded in June, marking the second highest month for attacks on medical facilities. The violations, which are being tracked on an interactive map, show deliberate attacks on medical personnel and facilities, which violate international humanitarian laws. While all sides of the conflict have committed these crimes, government forces are responsible for an overwhelming 90 percent of the attacks.

PHR Calls for Protection of Medical Facilities and Personnel in Gaza

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today urgently called on the government of Israel to stop attacking health facilities, ambulances, and health personnel in Gaza. PHR also said that Hamas and other armed groups must fully respect and protect the neutral operation of medical personnel and patients’ safety by ensuring that no military equipment or units operate in or near medical facilities.

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel: All Measures Must Be Taken to Avoid Injuring Medical Personnel and Endangering Medical Facilities and Teams While Fighting Continues in the Gaza Strip

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
In light of many cases of damage to hospitals, clinics, and medical personnel in the Gaza Strip, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel has sent an urgent communication to the Attorney General and to the Minister of Defense. Yesterday, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-IL) sent a letter to the Attorney General and the Defense Minister of Israel, addressing the harming of medical facilities and medical teams, and the difficulties of evacuating casualties in the course of the Gaza military operation.

Report on Violence against Health Workers, Patients and Facilities

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Over the past few years, the frequency and severity of attacks on health workers, patients, hospitals, and clinics throughout the world have increased. Last month the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition and Human Rights Watch released a report that describes recent examples of attacks on health in order to raise attention to this issue among the global health community, the human rights community, and those responsible for the attacks.

Statement Delivered at World Health Assembly in Response to WHO's Role in Meeting Demands of Health in Humanitarian Emergencies

Thursday, May 29, 2014
At the 67th World Health Assembly in Geneva last week, Chantal Baumgarten of Save the Children delivered a statement on behalf of her organization as well 21 other organizations who are affiliated with the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition. The statement was made in respond to agenda item 17M: “WHO’s response, and role as the health cluster lead, in meeting the growing demands of health in humanitarian emergencies (resolution WHA 65.20).”

Health Care under Attack: A Call for Action

Thursday, May 22, 2014
A technical briefing on healthcare workers under attack was held 21 May by WHO in occasion of the 67th World Health Assembly. Attacks on health care workers, patients and health facilities are increasing in many parts of the world. These attacks violate the basic right to health care and reflect a grave lack of respect for International Humanitarian Law, which provides special status and protection to health-care personnel. Violence against the health system limits access to medical services for those who need them most and can have grave public health consequences.

Health Workers, Patients Under Attack

Friday, May 16, 2014
(Geneva, May 16, 2014) – Hundreds of attacks on health workers have occurred in dozens of countries around the world since 2012, Human Rights Watch and the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition said in a joint report released today. The report, released in advance of a meeting on May 19 to 24, 2014, of health ministers from around the world, called on governments to do more to protect patients, health workers and facilities from attack in countries undergoing conflict and civil unrest. The 28-page report, “Under Attack: Violence against health workers, patients and facilities,” highlights recent attacks in countries around the world.

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