For people living in conflict zones, the pandemic spread of coronavirus disease (also known as COVID-19) represents a dramatic threat to life. Health systems are ravaged by war, and it could be difficult for people in these areas to prioritize actions related to the coronavirus COVID-19 as there could be many other more immediate threats to life, such as gunfire, shelling and bombings or lack of life-saving health care for other medical needs. 

Safer COVID-19 Response: Checklist for Health-Care Services​

 The Safer COVID-19 Response Checklist was developed for managers of health-care services, individual practitioners and health policymakers worried about the impact of violence against health-care workers, facilities and patients during the COVID-19 response.

It provides a practical summary of measures that can be implemented in healthcare facilities and services, to prevent, reduce and mitigate effects of violence against health-care workers and patients during the COVID-19 response. It also contains a series of online references to help understand and implement these measures. This checklist aims to encourage local risk assessment, monitoring of incidents, accountability and transparency towards those receiving care as a means of preventing violence against health-care workers and services. We aim to protect health-care workers’ well-being and ensure that they apply the ethical principles of health care.

Download the free checklist here:

Download the free quick guide here:

Violence against healthcare is never acceptable.

Let us know if you have feedback about this tool! 


Nurses deserve praise, thanks, protection amid COVID-19

The International Council of Nurses has spoken out

Nurses deserve praise, thanks, protection amid COVID-19

Nurses and other health care workers on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 deserve to be recognized and commended for their life-saving efforts and personal sacrifices amid increased medical risk – and in some places amid ostracization, harassment and attack. “ “Stigmatization and violence against nurses and other health workers in some countries is shocking; the only response is zero-tolerance,” said International Council of Nurses President Annette Kennedy

New patterns of violence against healthcare in the covid-19 pandemic


‘Please, don’t tell anyone!’: healthcare stigma in the COVID-19 era

November 12, 2020, Paola Forgione

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers in conflict zones and peaceful countries alike have faced countless challenges, including shortages of protective equipment and insufficient protocol to treat the new virus. Some doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and other healthcare professionals have experienced stigmatization within their own communities, triggered by an intense anguish and an often-disproportionate fear of infection. As a result, not only are those affected by COVID-19 blamed as ‘plague spreaders’, but the healthcare staff providing for them also face discrimination.In this post, ICRC Health Care in Danger delegate Paola Forgione reflects on the role that society plays in either supporting or stigmatizing people affected by the virus and healthcare workers, based on her professional research as well as her own personal and recent experience as a COVID-19 patient

Paola Forgione has worked with the ICRC for six years, carrying out missions in Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, El Salvador, the Gaza Strip and France, before joining the Healthcare in Danger team at the ICRC Headquarters in Geneva in July 2019. Since the pandemic outbreak, she has been researching the new trends of violence against healthcare triggered by the COVID-19 crisis. She holds a PhD in International Justice and Human Rights from the University of Pavia in Italy.

ICRC: 600 violent incidents recorded against health care providers, patients due to COVID-19


violent incidents recorded against health care providers, by patients due to COVID-19 in 40 countries


% physical 15% Verbal assaults


% fear-based discrimination

Kabul, Afghan Red Crescent Society District Hospital. Infection control against COVID-19 starts at the entrance.

HCiD Ireland - Newstalk Interview

With Esperanza Martinez Head of Health, ICRC