Not a target!

The European Union, ICRC and Belgium Red Cross message

05 April 2018
Not a target!
HCiD in EU


For a period of two weeks, from 18 April to 1 May 2018, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), supported by the European Commission (DG ECHO) in collaboration with the Belgian Red Cross, will be broadcasting in cinemas across Belgium a short film on the risks to health-care. The video projection is part of the 'Health-Care in Danger' campaign, meant to raise awareness about the all too often existent dangers of providing health-care outside the EU. The campaign was originally rolled out in Spain and Germany in 2017 and is now also being deployed in twelve major cinemas in Belgium: UGC De Brouckère, UGC Toison d'Or, UGC Anvers, Le Vendôme, Actor's Studio, Les Galeries, Le Stockel and the Cinemas KINEOPOLIS in Anvers, Liège, Braine l'Alleud, Brussels Digital as well as in Liège Palace.

With this short film #NotATarget the ICRC and the European Union want to address the widespread and severe impact of illegal and often violent acts that obstruct the delivery of health care, damage or destroy facilities and vehicles, and injure or kill health-care workers and patients. Based on humanitarian operational experience and different studies done on the subject, the ICRC and the EU believe that lack of safe access to health care in conflict or other emergencies is affecting millions of people. Yet, the significance of this issue is not fully grasped. For the ICRC health care includes hospitals, clinics, first-aid posts and ambulances.

For this video the allegory of a football game was used to illustrate that, like in popular sports, even wars have rules and limits. What is not allowed here in Europe, should also not be allowed 'there' where armed conflicts occur. In the field, the effect of just one violent incident directed against medical personnel or facilities may be felt by hundreds or even thousands of people. A single act of violence that damages a hospital or kills health-care workers has a knock-on effect, depriving many patients of treatment they would otherwise have received from the facility or workers in question.

The 'Health-Care in Danger' campaign seeks to understand the complexity of the issue with the aim of raising awareness and increasing the knowledge of relevant institutions worldwide as well as the general public about this critical humanitarian problem. Recognising the complexity of the issues at hand, key stakeholders notably at the EU level were mobilised to find practical solutions within their own spheres of responsibility. The outcomes of these consultations, recommendations and practical measures are being used as basis to produce technical tools for the different target audiences. The ICRC and the European Union believe that mobilising the European public opinion could have also an impact in the countries where the issue is of immediate operational concern.