ICRC Resolution 4 to Improve Health Care Protection

Created on Friday, 01 April 2016

Ensuring the protection of health care workers and medical facilities is one of the key aspects of the work of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (ICRC). A new commitment to ensuring safety of health care personnel was made at the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in December 2015 with the adoption of Resolution 4 on protecting the delivery of health care.

Resolution 4 highlights the devastating consequences that attacks against health care personnel or facilities have and the need to ensure that health care personnel are able to offer their services without obstruction, threat or physical attack. Resolution 4 sets out a series of actions that need to be taken to improve the current situation.

Resolution 4 advises governments to adopt and implement comprehensive measures, including legislative, regulatory and practical, to ensure the protection of health care workers and facilities. In particular, national armed forces and security forces should integrate measures to protect medical personnel, as well as the sick and wounded, into their operations. Governments should also exert efforts to improve the understanding by health care personnel of their rights and responsibilities. Dedicated tools and educational programmes could be developed to help achieve this goal.

According to Resolution 4, in case of incidents, governments should do their utmost to promptly and thoroughly investigate any attack against health personnel and facilities, in order to prevent future violence, ensure accountability and address grievances.

Last but not least, Resolution 4 also includes recommendations for improved international cooperation between national governments, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and the health care community as a step in improving the protection of health care workers and medical facilities.

Press release from the ICRC is available here.

The full text of Resolution 4 is available here.