Friday, September 27, 2013

Blog 3: Healthcare workers in Syria need Protection

                            Syria medical aid

While the diplomatic state in Syria is very unstable, the citizens and healthcare representatives are primary targets for attack. Doctors and nurses are living in fear as their career could cost them their lives. According to humanitarian law, the injured should have access to humanitarian relief and safe access to healthcare. Healthcare workers and injured citizens are supposed to be protected entities of the law but in Syria they are prime targets. In Syria, the humanitarian law hardly stands. In fact, hospitals and schools are main targets of Bashar al-Assad.

Over 50 doctors signed a petition demanding for protected access to healthcare in Syria. This petition also brings attention to the 37% of hospitals that have been destroyed in Syria and reiterates their right as healthcare workers to speak out on the attacks and threats against themselves and injured persons. The UN has acknowledged that humanitarian aid and healthcare in particular is being inhibited. They go on to state that any intentional attacks upon a healthcare facility or place containing the injured with a Red Cross or Red Crescent emblem is considered a war crime. In order to stay protected, hospitals are disguised or hidden and field hospitals are constantly relocating to avoid being compromised. It is extremely difficult to safely access a healthcare facility in Syria and they are always being searched for.

This is a very unfortunate situation and many lives are being lost because of it. There should not be any doubt in a citizens mind that if they are injured and need help they may risk their lives to get it. Doctors should not be risking their lives in order to save others. Although the UN says that they support the doctors petition and are against anyone who ignore the humanitarian law, those inside Syria are still very afraid for their lives. Of course military assistance would be one way to safely see each doctor and patient to their facilities but the diplomatic state of Syria will not allow it. This is a violation of human rights and those who infringe upon the humanitarian law should be punished accordingly.

Aleah Chavis
September 27, 2013
3: 25 pm

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