ICRC calls for health worker protections

GENEVA, Switzerland, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- The growing threat to health workers in conflict zones has prompted the International Committee of the Red Cross to call for additional protections.

Health workers are increasingly facing threats in the volatile Darfur region of Sudan, where trucks carrying humanitarian aid are routinely raided; in Somalia, where there hasn't been a functioning government since 1991; and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where aid workers are increasingly exposed to rebel violence in the North Kivu province, among other war-ravaged regions around the world.


Now with Israeli troops waging a ground battle in the Gaza Strip, the ICRC is calling on the international community to help protect aid workers, particularly health workers in conflict zones. The ICRC has released a commercial spot depicting health workers facing threats in the Gaza conflict to raise international awareness, the ICRC reported.

"In armed conflicts around the world, civilians suffer terribly and healthcare workers face severe challenges doing their work," Philippa Parker, ICRC Health Unit head, said in a statement.

"Protecting health workers from attack and facilitating the evacuation and treatment of the sick and wounded -- no matter who they are -- are basic obligations under international humanitarian law. The television spot reinforces this crucial message."


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