Violence against health workers, health facilities and patients has become a pervasive aspect of modern war. Conflict and unrest create a state of insecurity that makes maintaining a functional health system nearly impossible. To weaken an adversary’s resilience and will to fight, hospitals, ambulances, and supply vehicles are commonly targeted by military forces, while health care personnel and patients are often assaulted, threatened, or stripped of access to care.
These tactics violate basic human rights and international humanitarian law. In Ukraine, Russian forces carried out more than 200 attacks on health care within the first 70 days of the war. In Tigray, more than 80% of the hospitals have been destroyed since the conflict began in November of 2020. Despite evidence of these inhumane methods of warfare, most are not documented or are met with impunity.
In this webinar, experts will weigh in on the growing calls to strengthen the right to health in conflict. They will tackle pressing questions around how to ensure access to health care during times of instability, and how to improve global governance systems to support the penalization of crimes against health care.
This webinar is being hosted by the Harvard Global Health Institute, in partnership with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, the MGH Center for Global Health, and the Security and Global Health Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.