Attacks On Health-Care Facilities, According To The WHO, Are Increasing Every Day:
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), attacks on hospitals, ambulances, and doctors have been growing on a “daily basis” in Ukraine.
The WHO has examined and verified 72 distinct attacks on healthcare institutions in Ukraine since Russia began its invasion on February 24, resulting in at least 71 deaths and 37 injuries.
More than 300 health institutions are located along war lines or in areas that Russia now controls, according to WHO data, while another 600 are within 10 kilometers of the conflict line.
“We are concerned that this figure is increasing daily,” the WHO’s Ukraine representative said, according to a BBC report.
In addition to damaged hospitals, medical vehicles, and supply stores, the WHO has documented “possible” abductions or detentions of healthcare workers and patients.
Conventions Of Geneva:
Because the situation in Ukraine is an international armed conflict between two states, the Geneva Conventions apply. Civilian hospitals “must in no circumstances be the object of assault,” according to Article 18 of the Conventions.
The International Criminal Court in The Hague can investigate any violation of this provision. Individual perpetrators can be tried and punished if the investigation finds that a war crime has been committed.
The Conventions do, however, include notable exceptions. If the medical facility is located near a genuine military target or is suspected of doing an act “harmful to the enemy,” the protection from assault is rejected.
According To The ICRC States:
A hospital might be used as a shield for healthy fighters, or a medical team could be stationed in a position to thwart an enemy attack.
Warfare In The Modern Era:
Regardless of the Geneva Conventions’ restrictions, the WHO is worried that attacks on medical institutions are quickly becoming part of the larger “strategy and tactics” of modern warfare.
“We’ve never seen globally… this rate of attacks on healthcare,” said WHO emergency director Michael Ryan during a news conference last Wednesday. In ongoing war zones around the world, the WHO has verified 89 attacks against healthcare since the start of 2022.
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