Health Care Professions condemn new Brunei laws

12 April 2019


Geneva, Switzerland, 12 April 2019 - The World Health Professions Alliance has condemned new laws, recently put in place by the government of Brunei, which it considers to be inhumane and discriminatory, and in breach of international human rights agreements.  The new penal code, introduced on 3 April, imposes death by stoning for adultery and gay sex, as well as amputations for theft and public flogging for abortion.


“ICN joins our colleagues in the health professions in strongly condemning discrimination against and violence towards vulnerable groups, and considers the death penalty to be cruel, inhuman and unacceptable” said Howard Catton, Chief Executive Officer of the International Council of Nurses (ICN). “We call on the government of Brunei to uphold the human rights of all.”


“The World Medical Association warns all physicians in Brunei, that participating in such punishments, even advising or preparing for, would constitute a gross violation of medical ethics,” said Otmar Kloiber, Secretary General of the World Medical Association.


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About WHPA

The World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) is a unique alliance of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT), World Dental Federation (FDI) and the World Medical Association (WMA). WHPA addresses global health issues striving to help deliver cost effective, quality health care worldwide. Together, the partners of the WHPA include more than 600 national member organisations, making WHPA the key point of global access to health care professionals within the five disciplines.

Note for Editors

For further information please contact Gyorgy Madarasz, Press Officer, International Council of Nurses, Tel: +41 22 908 01 16 -


Nigel Duncan, Public Relations Consultant, WMA Tel: +44 (0) 20 8997 3653 -