Reduction of Weapons

Prevention of entry of weapons into health facilities


On this page:

Introduction – Step 1 Getting Started – Step 2 Resources and more

Throughout the lifespan of its Health Care in Danger initiative the ICRC has recommended hospitals in areas affected by conflict and other emergencies to implement policies to reduce the presence of weapons.


Weapons in healthcare facilities undermine their character of neutral and safe spaces, create an atmosphere non-conducive to respect of medical ethics and are a precursor for threats and security incidents. The presence of weapons inside of health-care facilities may also lead to perceptions and mistrust that a health-care facility is being involved in military operations and has thus lost its protection under IHL.

This toolkit’s aim is to reduce the presence of weapons in healthcare facilities.  It does this by exploring some of the reasons people bring in weapons and then provides them with alternatives that keep weapons outside the facility. The toolkit uses messaging, re-design of the environment and training to change people’s behaviour over the long term.


The tool is very flexible and takes you through a series of stages that are consecutive and build knowledge to generate specific interventions that are likely to work on the ground. The key to success is to engage with the people that are currently bringing in weapons and co-design a solution with them.

You will find the following components:

  • A simple planning process that takes users from start to finish and the generation of interventions.

  • A set of tools that supports users with the different elements of the planning process

  • A communication tool that provides templates and simple techniques to persuade people not to bring weapons into facilities

  • A number of case studies showing where healthcare facilities have developed their own interventions successfully

  • A template to support a “No Weapons” policy for individual facilities.


PLEASE CLICK on the VIDEO below and start listening to the presentation

  • This presentation shows the main processes you will need to go through to build an effective, measurable and sustainable intervention to reduce weapons from healthcare facilities.
  • The presentation has a soundtrack that you can listen to as you work through the slides. It should take you 3 minutes to listen to the presentation in full.
  • The presentation will also provide you with references if you need to research into any particular concept or issues in more detail.

You can also download the presentation here: 


CLICK ON the “MAKING THE CASE” BUTTON BELOW and the first section of this toolkit will open.