New tool for policymakers and legislators

29 May 2015

International legislation for protecting the provision of health care during conflict and other emergencies is adequate to its task. What is urgently needed is a determined effort to implement these rules effectively; and that requires strong domestic legal frameworks.

That was the conclusion reached by experts from 25 countries in 2014; the HCiD project had brought them together to discuss how to reinforce domestic legislation, with a view to enhancing protection for people providing or receiving health care.

The measures focus on the following areas:

  • Improving legal protection for patients and health personnel and facilities
  • Ensuring proper use of the red cross and red crescent emblems
  • Safeguarding medical ethics and confidentiality
  • Dealing effectively with violations of the rules protecting the provision of health care

The publication is accompanied by a guidance tool, contained in Annex XIX to The Domestic Implementation of International Humanitarian Law: A Manual. Both can be ordered or downloaded (free) at the ICRC's e-shop.

A publication, Domestic Normative Frameworks for the Protection of Health Care, emerged from this consultation process. It presents concrete measures to help States reinforce their domestic legislation and implement the existing international framework protecting health-care delivery and services.