ATTACKS ON HEALTH CARE IN UKRAINE ARE A GRAVE VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW
01 August 2023
STATEMENT BY THE HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR FOR UKRAINE, DENISE BROWN, ON THE STRIKE THAT HIT A HOSPITAL IN KHERSON
The unacceptable attack that today damaged a hospital in Kherson is just another example of the horrific consequences of Russia’s invasion for civilians in Ukraine. Not even those providing vital services to people whose lives have been torn apart by the war are being spared.
Today, a young doctor, just starting his career – his first day at work – was killed inside a hospital, a critical civilian facility. My thoughts are with his family and colleagues. Other health workers were also injured, according to the UN Human Rights Office. I wish them a speedy recovery.
Since the escalation of the war in February 2022, the World Health Organization verified over 1,000 attacks on health care in Ukraine. This is more than 60 per cent of all attacks against health care in the world. This has an immediate impact on people’s ability to access essential health services at a time when they need them most. In some parts of eastern and southern Ukraine, including Kherson, services have been decimated as not even half of hospitals or clinics remain functional.
Health facilities and health workers have special protection under international humanitarian law and attacking them is a grave violation.