Report on Violence against Health Workers, Patients and Facilities

06/18/2014
Under Attack report

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.

The escalating level of attacks targeted against health care must be recognized as a critical human rights issue. Global and national human rights institutions should take action to ensure that practical steps are taken to protect health workers and facilities, and protect access to health care for all who need it. Join us in sharing information from the report.


Sample tweets
When #healthworkers are attacked, they flee areas where they are urgently needed http://bit.ly/UrlkjV #protecthealth

Attacks against #healthworkers and facilities undermine fragile health systems http://bit.ly/UrlkjV #protecthealth

#HumanRights and int’l humanitarian law are clear: attacks interfere with the right to health http://bit.ly/UrlkjV #protecthealth

“We need @UN_HRC to act now to enable #healthworkers to best serve their patients” http://bit.ly/UrlkjV #protecthealth #humanrights

We know #healthworkerscount, but they need protection to do their jobs in times of violence http://bit.ly/UrlkjV #protecthealth

“In the current environment, #healthworkers in #Pakistan are neither welcome nor safe” http://bit.ly/UrlkjV #protecthealth

“Laws and policies in #Turkey violate the principles of neutrality in health services” http://bit.ly/UrlkjV #protecthealth

“Attacks by #Bahrain security forces not only harmed medical professionals, but the people of Bahrain.” http://bit.ly/UrlkjV #protecthealth
 
In #Syria, “frequent, systematic and deliberate attacks on medical professionals by the govt.” http://bit.ly/UrlkjV #protecthealth

“Doctors are harassed, detained, tortured and killed.” We must #protecthealth in #Syria & everywhere http://bit.ly/UrlkjV

#HealthWorkers can only care for others if the int’l community protects them http://bit.ly/UrlkjV #protecthealth

“Our clinic was raided and I was tortured. I was scared, anxious but also angry” http://bit.ly/UrlkjV #protecthealth in #DRC & everywhere

“We are trying to save lives and they are trying to kill us” http://bit.ly/UrlkjV #protecthealth #healthworkerscount

In Pakistan and Nigeria, more than 70 #polio vaccination workers have been killed http://bit.ly/UrlkjV #protecthealth

In Bahrain and Turkey, health workers arrested for providing care to protesters http://bit.ly/UrlkjV #protecthealth

.@ICRC identified 1,809 incidents of violence against #healthworkers, patients, ambulances, facils in 23 countries 2012-13 #protecthealth

Int’l humanitarian law: parties to conflict must protect patients, health workers, facilities, transport http://bit.ly/UrlkjV #protecthealth

Sample Facebook posts
A new report, “Under Attack: Violence against Health Workers, Patients and Facilities,” calls on governments to do more to protect patients, health workers, and facilities from attack in countries undergoing conflict and civil unrest. Share the report and help raise awareness of the need to #protecthealth! http://www.safeguardinghealth.org/sites/shcc/files/under-attack.pdf

Attacks on health workers, patients, hospitals, and clinics throughout the world have increased. These attacks undermine fragile health systems and cause health workers to flee areas where they are urgently needed. A new report provides examples of recent attacks on health. Share to raise awareness and help #protecthealth! http://www.safeguardinghealth.org/sites/shcc/files/under-attack.pdf

Leonard Rubenstein, chair of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition: “When health workers and hospitals are attacked, people are prevented from receiving medical care, individuals are afraid to seek treatment, and trained professionals flee areas where they are urgently needed.” Learn more in this new report, then help raise awareness of the need to #protecthealth. http://www.safeguardinghealth.org/sites/shcc/files/under-attack.pdf

In 2012 and 2013, the International Committee of the Red Cross identified 1,809 incidents of violence against health workers, patients, ambulances, or medical facilities in 23 countries. Learn more in this new report, then help raise awareness of the need to #protecthealth. http://www.safeguardinghealth.org/sites/shcc/files/under-attack.pdf

Joe Amon, director, Health & Human Rights, Human Rights Watch: “Attacks against health workers and facilities undermine often already fragile health systems. Human rights and international humanitarian law are clear that these attacks interfere with fundamental protections of the right to health.” Learn more in this new report, then help raise awareness of the need to #protecthealth. http://www.safeguardinghealth.org/sites/shcc/files/under-attack.pdf

Since December 2012, 60 polio vaccination team members and people guarding them have been killed in Pakistan. Dr. Mirzali Azhar, general secretary of the Pakistan Medical Society: “We need the Human Rights Council to act now to enable workers to best serve their patients. In the current environment, health workers in Pakistan are neither welcome nor safe.” Learn more in this new report, then help raise awareness of the need to #protecthealth. http://www.safeguardinghealth.org/sites/shcc/files/under-attack.pdf

Dr. Bayazit ilhan, general secretary, Turkish Medical Association: “Laws and policies introduced in Turkey one after another in recent years violate the principles of neutrality in health services,
right to health and privacy of personal health data.” Learn more in this new report, then help raise awareness of the need to #protecthealth. http://www.safeguardinghealth.org/sites/shcc/files/under-attack.pdf

In February and March 2011, hundreds of Bahraini protesters were injured, detained, and tortured by state authorities. Doctors who sought to provide care to wounded protesters were targeted and arrested. Rula Al-Saffar, president of the Bahrain Nursing Society: “The deliberate and systematic attacks on health workers and facilities by Bahraini security forces not only harmed medical professionals, but the people of Bahrain. Governments should respect the proper functions of health systems so that we can provide care for all those in need, no matter their political affiliation.” Learn more in this new report, then help raise awareness of the need to #protecthealth. http://www.safeguardinghealth.org/sites/shcc/files/under-attack.pdf

In Afghanistan over the past year, dozens of violent attacks on health workers and facilities have been reported. Justine Piquemal, director of Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief & Development (ACBAR): “In these conflict zones, military activities prevent patients from accessing health facilities: it’s either too dangerous or too far for the sick and wounded to travel. The greatest impact is felt by the most vulnerable people of Afghanistan: women, children, people with disabilities and the elderly, who cannot go alone to health facilities.” Learn more in this new report, then help raise awareness of the need to #protecthealth. http://www.safeguardinghealth.org/sites/shcc/files/under-attack.pdf

In Syria, hundreds of patients and health workers have been arbitrarily arrested, killed, and tortured, and hospitals and health clinics have been targeted and bombed. Dr. Zaher Sahloul, president of the Syrian American Medical Society: “What we are witnessing in Syria during the past 31 months is frequent, systematic and deliberate attacks on medical professionals by the government. Doctors are harassed, detained, tortured and killed just because they are discharging their humanitarian and professional duties. The perpetrators should be held accountable in a court of law.” Learn more in this new report, then help raise awareness of the need to #protecthealth. http://www.safeguardinghealth.org/sites/shcc/files/under-attack.pdf

Dr. Deborah D. Ascheim, chair of the board, Physicians for Human Rights: “Health care workers can only care for others if the international community protects them from arrest, persecution, intimidation and assault.” Learn more in this new report, then help raise awareness of the need to #protecthealth. http://www.safeguardinghealth.org/sites/shcc/files/under-attack.pdf

Donald Bahati, a nurse in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: “Our clinic was raided and I was tortured. I was scared, anxious but also angry: we are trying to save lives and they are trying to kill us.” Learn more in this new report, then help raise awareness of the need to #protecthealth. http://www.safeguardinghealth.org/sites/shcc/files/under-attack.pdf