Attacks on health care violate international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions to protect and respect health care in conflict.
Insecurity Insight collates data on attacks on health workers and facilities, patients for the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition (SHCC).
Unrelenting Violence – SHCC’s annual report
Health facilities and health workers were subjected to devastating and widespread violence and obstruction of care in 49 conflict-affected countries in 2021. This years report by the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition, based on data collated by coalition member Insecurity Insight, identifies 1,335 incidents of violence or obstruction against health care perpetrated in 2021.
The report finds that in 2021, 161 health workers were killed and 320 were injured in attacks on health care. 170 health workers were kidnapped while 713 were arrested. Health facilities were destroyed or damaged in 188 incidents, and on 82 occasions, militaries occupied health facilities. 111 health transports were destroyed or damaged, while 64 health transports were stolen or hijacked.
The figures – drawn from credible media reports as well as reporting by intergovernmental organizations, states, non-governmental organizations, and aid agencies – is likely a severe undercount, due to underreporting in many places around the world.
A Five Year Review on Violence Impacting Health Care
This SHCC report – Ineffective past, Uncertain Future A Five Year Review 2016-2020 – highlights the many forms of violence against health care. Health workers have been kidnapped, arrested, injured, and killed while providing medical care. Violent interference prevented patients from accessing care and emergency responders, vaccinators, and other health workers from providing life-saving services.