IFEM statement on hospital neutrality

The International Committee of the Red Cross has established as Rule 28: “Medical units exclusively assigned to medical purposes must be respected and protected in all circumstances.”

The International Federation for Emergency Medicine endorses and supports these international laws and statements with respect to the neutrality of both military and civilian medical units. It is critical that the ill and injured have a safe haven for the care
they require. It is equally critical that the health care personnel providing that care also be protected so that they may be able to provide the necessary emergency medical care.

This protection of personnel needs to extend outside of the healthcare facility, allowing safe passage to and from the facility. The International Federation for Emergency Medicine calls upon State and Non-State Actors in conflict to respect and abide by ICRC Rule 28, so that “…the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right of every human being” (WHO Constitution 1946) is maintained.