Violence against health care must end

Violence against patients and health-care workers is one of the most crucial yet overlooked humanitarian issues today. The Health Care in Danger project is a Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement initiative aiming to improve security and delivery of impartial and efficient health care in armed conflict and other emergencies.
All documents on Health Care in Danger.

Towards a solution : Community of concern

In addition to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, other organizations and individuals are actively working to improve the security and delivery of health care in armed violence. They are part of a community of concern that is working towards a common objective.

Common ethical principles of health care in conflict and other emergencies

The World Medical Association, the International Committee of Military Medicine, the International Council of Nurses, and the International Pharmaceutical Federation, representing more than 30 million people from both the military and civilian realms, have adopted the "Ethical Principles of Health Care in Times of Armed Conflict and Other Emergencies.

  • Health Care in Danger: Launch of a common core on ethics

    On 30 June 2015, the Humanitarium at ICRC headquarters in Geneva hosted a public livestreamed conference to mark the launch of a first-of-its-kind code of ethics, The Ethical principles of health care in times of armed conflict and other emergencies. A panel discussion brought together the authors and signatories of this common core document on ethics.

  • Conflict and Health: Interview with Dr. Bruce Eshaya-Chauvin, HCiD medical advisor

    This Week in Global Health (TWIGH) talks about the dangers that both patients and professionals face when it comes to accessing and delivering healthcare in conflict zones.

  • Health Care in Danger Newsletter: January-June 2015

    How can we protect hospitals, health care workers and patients from attacks? The June Newsletter of the Health Care in Danger project brings you interesting examples of measures to prevent violence and ensure safer access to health care.

  • New e-learning module on legal protection of health care in war

    The ICRC has launched an e-learning module on the legal framework applicable to health care during armed conflicts and other emergencies. The module offers a practical, user-friendly and interactive approach to online learning, and will suit a variety of people with or without a legal background.

  • Understanding violence against health care: A gender perspective

    What are the main obstacles and challenges to safe access to and provision of health care in conflict for girls, boys, women and men?

  • Health Care in Danger Newsletter - December 2014

    "We must learn from each other" says Dr Nehal Hefny, Programs and Projects Coordinator at the Egyptian Red Crescent Society. The latest newsletter of the Health Care in Danger project features a variety of articles including updates about the project, the field case study of Nepal and two interviews with experts working in the field.

  • Working to protect health care

    Health-care workers strive every day to ensure safe access to health care for people in need, in times of conflict and other emergency situations. They should be protected and respected.

  • Civilian air rescue operation wins the Health Care in Danger special award for the Arma3 contest

    The winner of the Health Care in Danger (HCID) special award for the Arma 3 contest is ROBJ2210, who developed a civilian air rescue operation. Launched by the ICRC and Bohemia Interactive in April 2014, the HCID special award aims to promote respect for health-care personnel and facilities within the virtual reality of combat simulation.

  • Health Care in Danger Newsletter - August 2014

    More needs to be done to protect health-care workers" says Pascal Hundt, Head of the Assistance Division at ICRC. The latest newsletter of the Health Care in Danger project features a variety of articles, news about the project, a field case study and a discussion between health care experts.

  • ICRC report on military operations and health care

    This report compiles a set of practical measures to be adopted when planning and conducting military operations with a view to avoiding the negative impact of such operations on the delivery of health care in armed conflict.

  • Health Care in Danger: It's not good enough to just say there's a problem

    For the first time, the issue of health care in danger was presented to delegates at the 67th World Health Assembly. Dr Rudi Coninx, of the Department of Emergency Risk Management and Humanitarian Action at the World Health Organization (WHO), explains why it is so important to take action to keep health-care workers safe.

  • Health Care in Danger: Ultimately, it is about patients

    In 2012, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) launched its Medical Care under Fire project. Françoise Duroch, the project manager, explains how MSF tackles the issue of violence against health care and why working with other organizations matters.

  • United Kingdom: Conflict poses fundamental obstacle to safe health care, ICRC tells inquiry

    Receiving safe and effective treatment when we are unwell or injured is vital for our health. Yet in times of war and violence, even getting help for common ailments or chronic conditions, not to say severe wounds, can be impossible. The ICRC has told a House of Commons inquiry more must be done to protect millions left without life-saving help when violence erupts.

  • Pretoria: Experts tackle security of health-care facilities

    As part of the ICRC-led Health Care in Danger project, renowned experts and field practitioners work to improve safety of health-care delivery in armed conflict and other emergencies. Last April they tackled the security of health-care facilities. This video offers a first glimpse of their recommendations.

  • Health Care in Danger: Why medical ethics matters

    Health-care workers need to know both their roles and their responsibilities, especially if they are working in situations of armed conflict and other emergencies, often facing insecurity and ethical dilemmas. Based on their field experience, a doctor, a nurse and a forensic expert share their views and knowledge on the issue.

  • Health Care in Danger: Seeking solutions

    Attacks on health workers, hospitals and clinics are a growing problem in the world's conflict zones and have a devastating impact on the availability of care for the sick and wounded. World health experts gathered in London at the Royal Society of Medicine in December 2013 responded with alarm to rising attacks on doctors in Syria and elsewhere.

  • Health Care in Danger Newsletter - February 2014

    "Change requires the input of many," says Pierre Gentile, head of the Health Care in Danger project. The project's most recent newsletter features a variety of articles, news about the project, a field case study and a discussion between health care experts.

  • ICN and ICRC address role of health-care personnel in armed conflicts and other emergencies

    On 22 October the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the ICRC signed a memorandum of understanding to promote the "Health Care in Danger" project, which aims ultimately to make access to health care in situations of armed violence more secure.

  • Health Under Fire: The targeting of medical workers in conflict zones - Live Web Seminar

  • Medical care in the line of fire

    In this joint op-ed originally published by Al Jazeera, the president of MSF international, Dr Unni Karunakara and ICRC president Peter Maurer expose the scale of threats to health care, the consequences and what the organizations are doing to bring about real change on the ground.

  • Photojournalism: Sebastiano Tomada wins the ICRC’s Humanitarian Visa d'Or prize for a report from Syria

    On 20 June the jury for the ICRC’s third Humanitarian Visa d'Or awarded its 2013 prize to photojournalist Sebastiano Tomada (SIPA Press, New York) for a report from Aleppo, Syria. His report poignantly documents the situation of the wounded, the difficulty of accessing health care and the precariousness of relief provision structures exposed to the violence of the fighting.

  • Safeguarding Health in Conflict coalition

  • ICRC and WMA to work together for safer health-care delivery

    The ICRC and the World Medical Association signed a memorandum of understanding in Geneva on 26 June 2013, in which the two organizations agree to join forces in a worldwide effort to combat violence against patients and health-care workers.

  • Health Care in Danger panel discussion at UN ECOSOC

    The ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) Humanitarian Affairs Segment provides an opportunity to increase understanding among governments about violence against health care, present national examples of positive measures contributing to secure health-care delivery and ensure continuity of the discussions that took place during the last International Conference of Red Cross and Red Crescent.

  • Health care under fire

    Francoise Duroch of Médecins sans frontières describes how conflict and violence disrupt health care and how medical workers find themselves the direct targets of violence. She explains how MSF is sometimes forced to suspend its activities and the conditions under which the organization will go public about a situation.

  • London: photo journalist Tom Stoddart talks about his work for the ICRC

    Over 250,000 people attended "Perspectives", Tom's Stoddart's recent London exhibition featuring photographs that illustrate the deadly impact of conflict on health care. He chooses a favourite photo and looks back at a career spent in some of the world's worst conflict zones.