Adopted by the 67th WMA General Assembly, Taipei, Taiwan, October 2016
and reaffirmed with minor revisions by the 218th Council session (online), London, United Kingdom, October 2021
The World Medical Association notes with great concern the repeated attacks on health care facilities, health personnel and patients since the beginning of the war in Syria in 2011. These attacks have killed and injured civilian people, and the most vulnerable among them, children and patients. The WMA recalls that health care facilities and personnel must, according to the international law, be protected by all parties of the conflict.
Therefore, the WMA
- Deeply regrets and condemns the recurring attacks on health care facilities, health personnel and patients, considering these as a violation of human rights;
- Reaffirms its Declaration on the protection of healthcare in situation of violence and demands all countries to ensure the safety of healthcare personnel and patients in conflict situations;
- Reasserts the Ethical Principles of Health Care in Times of Armed Conflict and Other Emergencies adopted by civilian and military health-care organizations in 2015, and demands urgent action to guarantee the full respect of medical neutrality;
- 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 health 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.