WHO EB136: Statement on Violence and Health

Statement to be read during the World Health Organization (WHO) 136th Executive Board Meeting.

IFMSA is currently represented at WHO EB136 by a delegation of 4 members: Pedro Miranda (LO-WHO), Agostinho Sousa (President), Claudel P-Desrosiers (VPE) and Ivan Seah (General Delegate).

Agenda Item 6.5 – Global Status Report on Violence and Health

Honorable Chair,
Honorable Members of the Executive Board,

IFMSA, the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, welcomes and supports the report of the Secretariat. IFMSA also supports the creation of a plan of action, and wishes to ensure that interpersonal violence against women, girls and children remains a priority for the WHO and its member states.

IFMSA has the following recommendations for the creation of the Global Plan of Action:

  • To recognize the important contribution of psychological violence to the burden of mental health related diseases and conditions;
  • To underline and “change cultural concepts about masculinity, and that process must actively engage men, whether they be policy makers, parents, spouses or young boys” as noted in the UNFPA report: “Gender Equality: Ending Widespread Violence Against Women”;
  • To focus especially on physical and psychological violence against and between children and adolescents in educational scenarios and to create stronger anti-bullying policies, including cyber-bullying;
  • To adopt mandatory reporting of suspected cases of domestic and sexual violence within communities and within healthcare delivery settings;
  • To create gender-balance policies that protect sexually abused individuals, and that facilitate the reporting of such situations and that increase a high-quality support available for individuals.

IFMSA will continue to provide capacity building opportunities for the future health professionals so they understand how to tackle, prevent and follow-up cases of violence, their implications for health and their consequences on their patients’ life. We commit to create awareness activities and international educational campaigns focusing on violence and its effects on health, to empower youth as active and powerful agents of change. It is our wish to contribute to the elimination of all forms of violence.

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