Health workers on the frontline: The Role of IFMSA to End Discrimination in Healthcare
IFMSA at the Social Forum of the United Nations Human Rights Council
Last week, IFMSA had the honour to be present at the annual Social Forum of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The three-day meeting took place from the 2nd to the 4th of October in Geneva, Switzerland and was conducted under the theme of promotion and protection of human rights in the context of the HIV epidemic and other communicable diseases and epidemics. It was a gathering of Member States, intergovernmental organisations and NGO representatives to debate on the theme in a less formal manner with its outcomes mainly contributing to the upcoming Human Rights Council Sessions.
Highlight of IFMSA’s attendance was our participation in a panel on Healthcare Workers on the Frontline where our federation was represented by Frederike Booke, currently SCORA Regional Assistant for Europe. During the discussion that was moderated by Jim Campbell, the Director of WHO’s Health Workforce Department, we could present our Declaration of Commitment to Eliminate Discrimination in Healthcare and the progress that has been made so far to work on this agenda. The full intervention can be accessed through this link: goo.gl/kuLCCC
More than that, the Social Forum gave IFMSA the chance to learn about multiple approaches on strengthening human rights protection in clinical settings that are executed by civil society, community networks and organisations of health professionals. Besides reinforcing our strong collaboration with UNAIDS on this matter, several contacts could be built to other associations – e.g. the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa or the International Network of People Who Use Drugs – that are interested in further collaboration.
Overall, IFMSA’s participation was very well perceived and demonstrated the importance of young professional’s involvement in building health services that ensure the full protection of human rights at any place to any time.
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