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International humanitarian law

What IHL provisions should health professionals be aware of?

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) outlines the principles and provisions for the protection of the sick and wounded, prisoners of war, and civilian populations. It also considers the need to respect, and provide access to, health workers and healthcare facilities.

In this video interview, professor Emanuele Sommario explains that international humanitarian law directs how armed forces must act during violent conflicts involving health care and humanitarian assistance.

The humanitarian principles provide guidance on how healthcare workers should act, but there are many other participants (or “actors”) in the conflict around Dr Samoe’s district hospital too.

Can you think of any treaties, laws, roles, duties, or principles which non-health ‘actors’ are expected to comply with during armed conflict? (Example: do not attack a person bearing a white flag). Think back through historical violent conflicts you know about. Did any of them lead to the establishment of rules and responsibilities during wartime?
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Global Health, Conflict and Violence

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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