WCPT calls for urgent action against attacks on health care workers

WCPT has joined together with 13 global organisations to call for urgent action against attacks on health care workers – including at least 208 attacks since March 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 13 medical and humanitarian organisations, representing more than 30 million health care workers, are part of the Health Care in Danger community and have issued a declaration condemning increasing incidents of attacks against health care workers and facilities. The attacks have included harassment, stigmatization, and physical violence.

Making sure health care workers are safe and able to carry out their jobs is crucial for their protection and to make sure they are able to provide continuing care for people affected by COVID-19.

The Health Care in Danger declaration states: ‘Violence against health care must not be tolerated. We stand firmly against it, and are working as a global community to build a world where health workers and patients are safe and respected. We call on everyone reading this message to join with us and protect health care from violence. And not only individuals: we call on all governments to act against misinformation and to ensure that health care is protected by domestic law, that all health-care professionals have a safe working environment, and that mental health support is offered not only to victims of violence, but also to those working under increased levels of stress.’

Signatories to the declaration:

Robert Mardini

Director General, International Committee of the Red Cross

Jagan Chapagain

Secretary General, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Christina Wille

Director, Insecurity Insight

Major General Geert Laire

Secretary-General, International Committee of Military Medicine

Annette Kennedy

President, International Council of Nurses

Eric de Roodenbeke

C.E.O., International Hospital Federation

Tammy Yu

Liason Officer for Human Rights and Peace Issues, International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations

Philippe de Botton

President, Médecins du Monde

Donna McKay

Executive Director, Physicians for Human Rights

Leonard Rubenstein

Chair, Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition

Emma K. Stokes

President, World Confederation for Physical Therapy

David Gordon

President, World Federation of Medical Education

Frank Ulrich Montgomery

Chair of the Council, World Medical Association

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Read the Health Care in Danger statement