The International Council of Nurses is a founding member of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition. The purpose of the Coalition is to promote respect for international humanitarian and human rights laws that relate to the safety and security of health facilities, health workers, ambulances and patients ensuring they are safe and secure during periods of armed conflict or civil violence. Through this effort, the Coalition promotes the effective functioning of health services, the protection of health infrastructure, and the safety of health workers during periods of armed conflict.
The Coalition promotes effective functioning of health services, protection of health infrastructure, and safety of health workers during periods of armed conflict. Its objectives include:
- Strengthening international mechanisms
- Increasing evidence on dynamics of attacks
- Developing practical strategies for protection
- Increasing accountability for violators of international law
In January 2012, the Coalition made an intervention at the WHO Executive Board calling on WHO to develop and implement methods for systematic collection of data on attacks on health facilities, workers, and transport and patients in conflict areas.
The intervention quoted a report released by the International Committee of the Red Cross last August which concluded that, “in terms of number of people affected, violence, both real and threatened, against health-care workers, facilities and beneficiaries is one of the biggest, most complex, and yet most under-recognized humanitarian issues today.” This ICRC report, Health care in Danger” was endorsed by ICN and can be accessed on www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/reports/4073-002-16-country-study.pdf
Relevant ICN publications and web links:
- ICN Position Statement on Nurses’ role in the care of detainees and prisoners
- ICN Position Satement on Armed conflict: Nursing’s perspective
- ICN Position Statement on Towards elimination of weapons of war and conflict
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