WMA Resolution on the Protection of Health Care Facilities and Personnel in Syria


Adopted by the 67th WMA General Assembly, Taipei, Taiwan, October 2016

The World Medical Association (WMA) notes with great concern the recent and repeated attacks on health care facilities, health care workers and patients in Syria, especially in Aleppo. These attacks have killed and injured civilian people, and the most vulnerable among them, children and patients. Since the beginning of the war in Syria in 2011, an estimated 270 health care facilities have been attacked and 760 health care workers have been killed. The WMA is profoundly concerned by this development, as health care facilities and personnel should, according to the international law, be protected by the parties of the conflict.

Therefore the WMA

  • Deeply regrets and condemns the recent and recurring bombings of the hospitals in Aleppo, considering these as a violation of human rights;
  • Reaffirms its statements on "Healthcare in Danger" and demands all countries to ensure the safety of healthcare personnel and patients in conflict situations;
  • Calls on all countries to fully implement the UN Resolution 2286 (2016) which demands all parties to armed conflicts to fully comply with their obligations under international law, to ensure the respect and protection of all medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, of their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities;
  • Demands an immediate and impartial enquiry into the attacks against health care facilities and personnel, and actions taken against those responsible in accordance with domestic and international law.