Violence on the Front Line: Attacks on Health Care in 2017

Published Date: 10:27 AM 23-05-2018    Updated Date: 12:55 PM 23-05-2018

The report reveals:

  • There were more than 700 attacks on hospitals, health workers, patients, and ambulances in 23 countries in conflict around the world in 2017.
  • More than 101 health workers and 293 patients died as a result of these attacks.
  • At least 29 ambulances were damaged or destroyed and 21 hijacked or stolen.
  • 91 health workers were arrested and 67 were kidnapped.

Coalition members are disseminating the report this week at the World Health Assembly in Geneva and tomorrow at the UN Security Council’s meeting in New York to review actions taken since it adopted resolution 2286 two years ago. The resolution condemned attacks on health facilities and health workers and demanded that governments take concrete actions toward protecting health facilities and medical workers from attack in armed conflict. But since its adoption governments have taken few of the steps needed. 

The Coalition recommends quick and forceful condemnation of the attacks on and interference with health services when they are documented. Without a global outcry the ability to curb the continued trend of attacks on health care will be stifled. Additionally, the Security Council must hold member states accountable to the measures required under resolution 2286, and should formally adopt the sensible recommendations made by the Secretary-General in 2016. Read the report for a full list of the Coalition's recommendations.
“We owe the wounded, the sick, and health workers on the front lines of conflict who experience violence more than just our sympathy. In this report, we show the scope of the problem and what must be done in solidarity with them.”

- Leonard Rubenstein, chair of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition

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