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Protecting Health Workers’ Rights

Health workers’ rights must be protected. One major issue of concern is safeguarding health workers and facilities in conflict and respecting the principle of medical neutrality. Under this principle, health workers and facilities are to remain neutral and free from harm during armed conflict. However, health workers in conflict are often subject to attack or prosecution, with dire consequences for the entire health system.

Promoting gender equality is also key to protecting health workers’ rights and strengthening the health system. Gender inequalities and discrimination may impede entry into health occupations and contribute to absences from work, lower productivity, poor health, and low morale.

Finally, health workers deserve safe workplaces where they can do their jobs. Health workers should not have to live with fear of getting infected, experiencing discrimination, or being subjected to violence. There are low-tech, low-cost ways of protecting health workers in the workplace.

IntraHealth works with a coalition of organizations to help protect health workers’ rights, facilitates governments’ use of gender information to guide health workforce decisions, and encourages governments to ensure safe workplaces.

Related resources

Safeuarding health workers and facilities in conflict
Promoting gender equality in the health workforce
Ensuring safe workplaces

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