News

Assault on Medical Care in Syria

Friday, September 13, 2013
The United Nations Human Rights Council produced a document, Assault on Medical Care in Syria, related to agenda item 4 at the Council’s 24th session in Geneva. “The deliberate targeting of hospitals, medical personnel and transports, the denial of access to medical care, and ill-treatment of the sick and wounded, has been one of the most alarming features of the Syrian conflict,” the document states.

Attacks on Health Systems: The Need for Action by the Human Rights Council

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
The Government of Norway, the Government of Switzerland, and the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition invite you to a side event at the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva: Attacks on Health Systems: The Need for Action by the Human Rights Council Friday, 20 September 11h00 - 13h00, Palais des Nations Room XII

Civil Society Leaders Call for Humanitarian Response to Chemical Attacks in Syria

Thursday, August 22, 2013
The United States and the international community should take immediate steps to respond to reports of the largest scale usage of chemical weapons in Syria, a group of civil society leaders said today. Numerous reports have indicated that coordinated chemical weapons attacks occurred on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 in the East Ghuta area of the Damascus suburbs in Syria, reportedly killing up to 1300 and injuring tens of thousands more.

APHA Article Focuses on Efforts to Document Violence against Health Workers

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
The August issue of The Nation’s Health, the official newspaper of the American Public Health Association (APHA), features a front-page article on violence against health workers. “Work to Document Violence against Health Workers Growing” includes remarks from Leonard Rubenstein, chair of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict coalition.

ICRC and World Medical Association to Work Together for Safer Health Care Delivery

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Geneva (WMA / ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Medical Association (WMA) signed a memorandum of understanding in Geneva today, in which the two organizations agree to join forces in a worldwide effort to combat violence against patients and health-care workers.

WHO Director-General Condemns Attacks on Health Workers and Facilities in Conflict Situations

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
In her address to the 66th World Health Assembly in Geneva on May 20, WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan spoke about the “deeply troubled times” we live in and referenced “assaults on health personnel and health care facilities in conflict situations,” which the World Health Organization condemns “in the strongest possible terms.”

United Nations Condemns Attacks on Health Workers, Facilities, and Vehicles in Syria

Friday, May 17, 2013
The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, The situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, condemning human rights violations by Syria. The resolution makes note of attacks on hospitals and stating that the UN “Strongly condemns all attacks and threats of violence against humanitarian and medical personnel and against medical facilities and vehicles, in violation of international law, and the use of medical civilian facilities, including hospitals, for armed purposes, and calls for all medical facilities to be free of weapons, including heavy weapons, consistent with applicable international law.”

Coalition Urges World Health Organization Director-General to Raise Awareness of Attacks on Health Workers

Thursday, May 16, 2013
On May 15 the Safeguarding Health in Conflict coalition sent a letter to World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan urging her to include in her World Health Assembly opening address a forceful statement condemning attacks on doctors, nurses, emergency medical personnel, and other health workers, particularly in Syria, which are taking place at an unprecedented level. The letter, which also has the support of the World Medical Association, called attention to a new study by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Violent Incidents Affecting Health Care, which reported that at least 921 violent incidents against health care personnel, infrastructure, and wounded or sick people took place in 2012.

Experts Discuss Attacks on Syria's Health Workers and Facilities

Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosted a roundtable discussion on Attacks on Syria’s Medical Personnel and Facilities on May 10. Leonard Rubenstein, chair of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict coalition, was one of the speakers, along with Zaher Sahloul of the Syrian American Medical Society (a member of Safeguarding Health in Conflict), Stephen Cornish of Médecins Sans Frontières, and Dorothy Shea of the US Department of State.

Medical Work in Conflict Zones Is Compromised

Friday, April 26, 2013
On April 24 Foreign Affairs published an article by Leonard S. Rubenstein, “Unhealthy Practice: Medical Work in Conflict Zones Is Compromised.” For the second time in less than six months, Rubenstein writes, polio vaccine workers in Pakistan have come under fire. For the gunmen, killing health workers has been seen as a legitimate response to a nefarious extension of Western power. For the CIA, faux vaccine campaigns have sometimes been justified as part of the war on terror. Both sides are wrong, he says: denying or providing health care should never be an instrument of statecraft.

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