ICRC called on states to address the issue of violence against health care

Panel on the protection of medical workers and facilities in armed conflict

24 August 2017
ICRC called on states to address the issue of violence against health care
States must address violence against medical aid workers, personnel and facilities and patients through preventive measures. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC

The ICRC delegation to the African Union participated to a Panel Discussion on the Protection of Civilians organized, on 18 August 2017, in the framework of the celebration of the African Humanitarian Week which culminated with the commemoration of the World Humanitarian Day on 19 August.

The Panel organized jointly by the AU Humanitarian Affairs Division and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) was held at the AUC Headquarters in Addis Ababa.

ICRC delegation to the African Union, together with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Representative for the Central African Republic, briefed on the Protection of medical aid workers, personnel and facilities in Africa.

The ICRC presentation highlighted the type of violence affecting health care as a global humanitarian problem and stressed two recommendations from the 12th joint AU-ICRC Seminar on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) held in October 2014 under the theme: "Protection of Health-care services in armed conflict and other emergencies".

The ICRC called on African States to adopt a decision at the AU Executive Council and Assembly of Heads of State and Government reaffirming the need to address violence against medical aid workers, personnel and facilities and patients through preventive measures.

The panel chaired by the Nigerian Ambassador in his capacity as Vice-Chair of the AU Sub-committee for Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Africa, committed to work towards the adoption of the Draft Guidelines on the Protection of Civilians in AU Peace Support Operations et reiterated ICRC recommendation.

The event was attended by representatives from African Permanent Missions to the AU (Kenya, South Africa, Sudan, Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, DRC), RECs (SADC, COMESA), AUC (Departments for Political Affairs, Peace and Security), Non-African Permanent Missions (New Zealand, The Netherlands) International organizations (UNICEF, UNHCR) and NGOs (Oxfam, Crisis Action, International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).