For Immediate Release
Richard Sollom, Deputy Director of PHR, spoke on March 7, 2012 to Congressional staff on the growing need to address violations of medical neutrality around the globe.
Sollom made recommendations for steps the United States can take to ensure that the protection of medical neutrality becomes a foreign policy priority. These steps include withholding military assistance from countries that are violating medical neutrality, banning key violators from entering the US, and improving reporting mechanisms for tracking these violations.
Sollom was joined by Dr. Nils Daulaire, Director of the Office of Global Health Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services and the US Representative to the Executive Board of the World Health Organization, and by Leonard Rubenstein, Faculty with the Center for Public Health and Human Rights and the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
PHR has documented a rising number of targeted attacks on medical professionals and facilities in the past year. However, the United States has not had a coherent response to the violations.
PHR has repeatedly called upon the United States government to take a strong stand to protect health access in places of armed conflict, and was instrumental in drafting the Medical Neutrality Protection Act of 2011 (HR 2643), a bipartisan bill which will authorize a stronger response to violations of medical neutrality around the globe.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.