Violence

Yemen: Civilian Toll of Fighting in Capital

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
The Houthi armed group and the Yemeni armed forces’ Sixth Regional Command appear to have committed violations of the laws of war during fighting in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, from September 17-21, 2014. The government should investigate alleged violations by both sides and appropriately punish those responsible. The fighting included two attacks on a hospital near the Sixth Regional Command headquarters and an attack by an unidentified force on another hospital. Hospitals are specially protected from attack under the laws of war and forces should avoid deploying near them.

Into the Abyss: The Escalating Violence Against Pakistan's Polio Workers

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
So far in 2014, there have been 20 attacks on polio workers in Pakistan that have killed 32 people, according to data I collected using news reports; and the attacks are only escalating in lethality and violence. In 2013, there were 29 attacks against polio workers, killing 22 people; and in 2012, there were only nine attacks that resulted in the deaths of 10 people.

Doctors as Targets

Thursday, November 13, 2014
To the Editor: “Doing Good in Harm’s Way” (Giving section, Nov. 7) points out that though medical and relief workers should be protected, in fact they often become targets. I have had the opportunity to meet many doctors working in Syria, who tell me that they are targeted because they are medical professionals. Doctors, nurses and other health workers are often perceived to be the enemy because they treat people on all sides of the conflict. Since the start of the Syrian war, we have documented the deaths of 578 medical personnel and 207 attacks on medical facilities, with government forces overwhelmingly responsible for these crimes.

Red Cross Surgeon Calls for Greater Security in Conflict Zones to Protect Workers, Hospitals

Thursday, November 13, 2014
A visiting Red Cross surgeon has warned that health care workers need additional security in conflict zones, adding that the lack of protection is one of the biggest issues facing health care today. Dr Robin Coupland said governments, armed forces and the health care community must do more to make health care delivery safer around the world. Last year health personnel suffered more than 1,800 violent incidents. He said this in turn had a devastating effect on populations needing urgent health care.

Fixing Broken Health Systems in the Aftermath of Conflict

Thursday, November 20, 2014
Alongside the host of human tragedies, conflicts challenge efforts to ensure health, security and access to basic health care for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations. Such populations are disproportionately represented in conflict-affected regions: chronic conflict causes chronic poverty and poverty causes conflict.

Resolution Focuses on Role of UN in Protecting Health Care from Violence

Thursday, November 20, 2014
The UN Global Health and Foreign Policy Group is proposing a resolution to the UN General Assembly focused on ensuring the safety of health workers in conflict and emergency situations. Diplomatic, global health, and humanitarian communities gathered in New York on November 5 to discuss.

Warning from a Mass Grave: Hospitals Under Attack

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Armed attacks on hospitals are occurring more often around the world, resulting in death, injury and destroyed facilities. What can be done to stop this disturbing trend? In human tradition, three types of institutions have been considered safe in times of violence and civil strife; that is, it is expected that they will be exempt from armed attack. These institutions are places of worship, schools and hospitals.

Central African Republic: A Never-Ending Quest to Promote Humanitarian Rules

Friday, October 3, 2014
Killings and acts of physical violence committed against civilians, the destruction of homes and businesses, attacks against rescue workers: the list of violations of international humanitarian law taking place on an almost daily basis is long. Just as it is imperative that emergency action be taken to save lives, it is essential that weapon bearers be convinced that they must obey the rules that protect civilians.

Health Care and Violence: The Need for Effective Protection

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Violence against health-care workers and facilities, medical vehicles and patients during armed conflict and other emergencies is one of the most serious challenges of humanitarian concern in the world today. Violent acts, which limit access to health-care services for those most in need and disrupt health-care systems, have severe immediate and long-term consequences. Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has highlighted the alarming scale of the problem.

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