National Society

Sharonya Sekhar
Policy Advisor, International Operations
Canadian Red Cross

The Canadian Red Cross is currently examining specific recommendations produced from the expert workshops with a view of identifying which measures to implement in support of our programming internationally. The CRC’s focus is on working in the last mile and fragile contexts, we recognize that in high risk contexts there are many potential HCiD issues.

The Canadian Red Cross’s focus on HCiD has been in support of our international work and operations. Our focus has been on ensuring that our operations in higher risk contexts are well protected, especially in support of our National Society partners in the field. In regards to promotion of the HCiD recommendations, the CRC has integrated HCiD as a main theme within our work on International Humanitarian Law, and committed to awareness raising. This includes hosting academic conferences across the country which have been focused on HCiD. For example, in the year 2016 the CRC held eight conferences which either directly or indirectly focused on HCiD. These conferences bring together leading academics and other experts to engage with young Canadians and other stakeholders (i.e. from government or other NGOs), raise awareness but also generate dialogue on key IHL issues including HCiD.

CRC has also spoken and promoted the HCiD project and the concrete recommendations generated in numerous health related conferences/events including at the Canadian conference for Global Health and most recently the WADEM conference in Toronto, Canada in 2017.
CRC has also included piloting specific recommendations from HCiD as one area for expanded cooperation with ICRC in a joint agreement.

At this time, the CRC does not have a data collection mechanism that looks at these issues specifically.

The CRC has integrated HCiD into the training we provide for delegates sent to the field. This includes using the training module on the rights and responsibilities of health care personnel as well as distributing a hard copy of the guide. This is in addition to existing training and materials provided on the importance of abiding by the Fundamental Principles and other relevant RCM frameworks. Moving forward, the CRC is in discussion with IFRC to fund a standardized learning module on HCiD and SAF to train surge delegates. This training would aim to provide information on why these issues are important in their operations, looking at the implications for service delivery.

Within our work on IHL, the CRC engages in dialogue with authorities, including the Canadian Armed Forces. We work closely on training and have a dialogue on the protection of the medical mission. CRC also has encouraged the Government of Canada to speak about HCiD, calling out attacks when they occur and working to strengthen understanding of and provisions for ensuring the safety of health care workers, facilities and patients.