HCID supports the implementation of concrete, practical measures and operational responses at national and local levels to prevent violence and safeguard health care in armed conflict and other emergencies. Our goal is to: influence the doctrine and practice of weapon bearers, assist States in strengthening their domestic legislation, build up the resilience of health-care systems to violence and to campaign for behavioural change among civilian populations.
Our work is underpinned by sound evidence generated locally and geared towards the development of preventive solutions by linking operational work to data and research, developed through partnerships with health-care organizations in countries affected by conflict and other emergencies. Given the maturity of the normative framework, diplomacy and mobilization have to be brought closer to the ground – that is, to regional and national forums – where they can lead directly to better local ownership and action
The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) envisions a world in which medical students unite for global health and are equipped with the knowledge, skills and values to take on health leadership roles locally and globally. Founded in 1951, it is one of the world’s oldest and largest student-run organizations. It represents, connects and engages every day with a network of 1.3 million medical students from 145 national member organizations in 134 countries. The IFMSA has a long track record in human rights, peace and humanitarian action. Its Standing Committee on Human Rights and Peace (previously the Standing Committee on Refugees) has been working since 1983 to empower and mobilize medical students to promote and protect human rights and peace, and introduce them to humanitarian action through capacity building, field projects, advocacy and policy making. The IFMSA endorses the HCiD initiative through online awareness campaigns as well as through capacity building, transforming the Violence Against Healthcare Massive Open Online Course into a 3-day peer to peer workshop in collaboration with the ICRC. In addition, IFMSA adopts a policy on the Protection of Health Services, guiding its advocacy on the pressing need for the international community to act in favor of protecting patients and healthcare workers in addition to access to healthcare in conflict zones.
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations (NNAs), representing the more than 20 million nurses worldwide. Founded in 1899, ICN is the world’s first and widest reaching international organization for health professionals. Operated by nurses and leading nurses internationally, ICN works to ensure quality nursing care for all, sound health policies globally, the advancement of nursing knowledge, and the presence worldwide of a respected nursing profession and a competent and satisfied nursing workforce.
In May 2016, ICN signed a joint statement by members of the Health Care in Danger initiative, calling on the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution to protect healthcare workers. ICN is part of the HCiD initiative to protect patients and health workers in conflict zones, and endorses the Ethical Principles of Health Care in Times of Armed Conflict and Other Emergencies. In 2020, a global survey was conducted on health and safety of nurses in COVID-19 pandemic. The report stated the pandemic has exacerbated violence against nurses and other healthcare workers in some countries.
The International Hospital Federation (IHF) is a global, non-profit, non-governmental membership organization representing thousands of hospitals and health-care organizations worldwide. It aims to foster the exchange of knowledge and promote international cooperation in the field of health care. Since 2015, the IHF is part of the HCiD initiative to support global and national efforts aimed at ensuring safe access to health-care services in times of armed conflict and other emergencies, and specifically at improving the safety of health-care facilities. In this framework, the IHF Governing Council approved the Pledge on “Improve Safety of Health Facilities”. In 2016, the IHF has conducted a global survey on the resilience of health-care facilities, whose findings are presented in the white paper entitled HCiD Initiative: The Safety of Healthcare Facilities. In 2019, a new global study on “Violence against people in hospitals” was published.
The International Committee of Military Medicine (ICMM) is a neutral and impartial intergovernmental organization. It was founded in 1921 to foster professional cooperation between national military health services and to facilitate the exchange of scientific knowledge and practical expertise in military medicine. The ICMM aims to promote respect for international humanitarian law and medical ethics by organizing and sponsoring courses and workshops on these topics. Its other activities include hosting regular scientific conferences and publishing an international scientific review. Through its work, the ICMM tries to actively promote peace, tolerance and mutual understanding. The ICMM connects the military health services from 117 member states. Through the National Delegates of these member states, the ICMM raises awareness of the Health Care in Danger initiative and promotes the incorporation of the principles of international humanitarian law and military medical ethics .
Founded in 195 World Physiotherapy is the sole international voice for physiotherapy. The organisation represents more than 670,000 physiotherapists worldwide, through 122 national physiotherapy associations. World Physiotherapy operates as a non-profit organisation and is registered as a charity (World Confederation for Physical Therapy) in the UK.
World Physiotherapy is committed to furthering the physiotherapy profession and improving global health, and uses its news and social media channels to raise awareness of physiotherapy and the role of physiotherapists.
The organisation’s policies aim to oppose the unintentional or intentional use of landmines, nuclear, chemical and biological agents, and other weapons of armed violence; and support the Heath Care in Danger initiative’s efforts towards ensuring the health and security of health care professionals.
The World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) is a non-governmental organization that seeks to improve the quality of medical education throughout the world. Established in 1972, by the World Medical Association (WMA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the WFME works to support healthcare for all through promoting high quality in medical education for the estimated current physician workforce of 9.8 million (WHO, 2015) and prospective students and trainees. The WFME promotes the World Directory that is a freely accessible directory of the world’s undergraduate (basic) medical education programs. It contains information for over 2,900 schools, both operational and historical, including curriculum and enrolment details.
The WFME and its partners work together to improve health care for all by:
- developing medical education standards;
- promoting the accreditation of medical schools; and
- managing the World Directory of Medical Schools.
Through its member associations, the WFME raises awareness of the Health Care in Danger initiative and promotes the incorporation of the principles of international humanitarian law in medical education curricula.
=> WFME-HCiD specific activities
The World Medical Association (WMA) is a global federation of 113 national medical associations, representing millions of physicians worldwide. Acting on behalf of patients and physicians, the WMA promotes the highest possible standards of medical care, ethics, education and health-related human rights for all. The WMA has a long-standing commitment to protecting health care, in line with the principles of humanity and impartiality and international humanitarian and human rights law.
=> WMA-HCiD specific activities
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent medical humanitarian organization founded in 1971, which provides medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare, irrespective of race, religion, creed or political convictions. MSF observes neutrality and impartiality in the name of universal medical ethics and the right to humanitarian assistance and claims full and unhindered freedom in the exercise of its functions. Members undertake to respect their professional code of ethics and maintain complete independence from all political, economic or religious powers. MSF’s actions are first and foremost medical, seeking to provide high-quality care and to act always in the best interest of patients; to respect their confidentiality, their right to make their own decisions and above all, to do them no harm. The protection of the medical mission is critical in ensuring the organization is able to reach those most in need and therefore MSF actively engages in activities that would ensure safe access to health-care services in times of armed conflict and other emergencies. Those have included, inter alia, guideline development, operational research, analysis and collaboration with academics, international institutions, diplomatic community, Non-Governmental Organizations, etc., as for example participation in such fora as the Community of Concern and the HCiD.
=> MSF-Attacks on Medical Care
The International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) was founded in 1949 by eight pharmacy student associations in London, United Kingdom. The Federation represents approximately 350,000 pharmacy students and recent graduates in 90 countries worldwide. IPSF is the leading international advocacy organisation for pharmacy and pharmaceutical science students and promotes improved public health through the provision of information, education, and networking opportunities as well as a range of publications and professional activities.
=> IPSF-HCiD specific activities
The Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition consisting of 40 humanitarian, human rights, and health professional organizations and academic centers, promotes the security of health workers, the wounded and sick, and health services threatened by war or civil strife. We monitor attacks on and threats to civilian health; strengthen universal norms of respect for the right to health; demand accountability for perpetrators; and empower providers and civil society groups to be champions for their right to health. The Coalition brings voice of civil society heard at international forums, including the World Health Organization, the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Rights Council. For the past seven years the Coalition has published an annual global report on violence against health care. Its 2020 report found more than 1,200 incidents of violence against health care in conflicts throughout the world.