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Today we publish our new report, Researching Violence Against Health Care: Gaps and Priorities, in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The report identifies key evidence gaps that need to be filled through rigorous research if we are to identify solutions to both prevent, and protect health care from violence.

As part of ICRC’s Health Care in Danger Initiative, we partnered to commission this evidence review, taking stock of global knowledge on violence against health care and its impact, and to determine the availability of preventive solutions. We know that one of the key barriers to identifying effective solutions to address violence against health care is a lack of knowledge of the global evidence that could be used to inform interventions in different countries and settings.

This report brings together this evidence, by identifying literature from low, middle and high-income countries, countries both at peace and in conflict.

"Contrary to the spirit of humanitarianism, attacks against healthcare are a complex problem defying simple solutions. Preventing attacks often requires a disruption of established behaviour on the part of armed actors, health personnel and civilians alike. Solutions are usually context-specific and technical, requiring high-level policy change and health system reform".

Professor Gilles Carbonnier, ICRC Vice President

Research is a powerful tool to explore aspects of social reality and catalyse action to create positive change. Health care providers and researchers in countries affected by armed conflict and other humanitarian crises – many of whom have first-hand experience of violence themselves – play a critical role in filling evidence gaps and finding practical solutions to violence against health care.

We are sharing the report with the aim of facilitating learning across the global community, so resources can be generated to support meaningful research that will see an end to violence against health care.

Our report comes at a critical time. The original launch was postponed earlier in the year due to COVID-19 – since then we’ve continued to see attacks on health care workers and facilities, exacerbated by the global pandemic, reinforcing how vital this work is.

Read the Report: Violence Against Health Care: Gaps and Priorities

Report Health Systems & Services, Human Rights & Security, Violence Against Health Care

Researching Violence Against Health Care: Gaps and Priorities

Watch our online launch event with ICRC

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Photo credit: Ahmad Masood/Reuters

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