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Attacks on healthcare workers and facilities have become a common feature of violent conflict throughout the world. From Syria to Somalia, there is a dangerous lack of respect for the neutrality of these institutions and personnel: hospitals are shelled; ambulances are fired upon; the wounded languish for hours in checkpoint queues. To raise awareness of this crucial yet overlooked humanitarian crisis, the International Committee of the Red Cross has teamed with Reportage by Getty Images to create their “Health Care in Danger” campaign, which urges people to respect healthcare and healthcare workers in wars.

To imbue the campaign with a sense of reality equal to the tragedy, the ICRC enlisted Reportage photographer Tom Stoddart, who drew on his experience of working in conflict zones. In the video below, Tom, along with staff from the ICRC and Getty Images, explains how he created these images to reflect real-world scenarios.

Getty Images BTS ICRC shoot from Reportage by Getty Images on Vimeo.

The ads will appear on bus shelters and in metro stations across seven European cities throughout December: Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Madrid, Warsaw, Brussels and Paris.

You can learn more about the ICRC’s “Health Care in Danger” campaign on the organization’s Web site. See more work by Tom Stoddart and other Reportage photographers here.

When the conflict began in the town, we stayed at home, and the shooting increased. The next day, we got the message that we would each have to find a way to leave on our own. We left and were trying to go to a village, and when we stopped to rest along the way, we saw Jeanne, who was by herself. There was no one there. At first we thought she was just a child like the others…by evening we noticed that no one had come to get her, and that was when we realized that she was alone, and I decided to take her with us. I paid the porters $40 so that she could cross over from the other side of the river. Before coming back down here, we walked around showing Jeanne to different groups of displaced people to see if they recognized her and if they were her family, or knew them. That was how I decided to keep her with me, as my daughter.

In wartime, children panic, and if you’re not careful, they may run away from home and not return.’

 - Carine, a mother of four in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who is also caring for Jeanne, an orphan

See the full feature: Effects of Conflict in The DRC, by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala for ICRC

During periods of armed violence, providing health care can become an extraordinarily hazardous undertaking beset by difficulties and threats to safety. Medical teams find themselves operating without basic equipment, and sometimes without even electricity or water. To evacuate or to reach the wounded and the sick in conflict zones, health-care workers sometimes have to put themselves at great risk.

Health Care in Danger: An Issue for Our Time, a new photo exhibition by the International Committee of the Red Cross, shows that ‘violence against health care is not a recent phenomenon and has never been confined to one place or one period.’

Image: While evacuating by Chinook helicopter, Fiona McGlynn, Commanding Officer of the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT), performs cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on a Danish soldier who was severely injured by an IED in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Reportage by Getty Images)

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Getty Images Partners with the International Committee of the Red Cross to launch its new ‘Healthcare in Danger’ Campaign ’ Award-winning Reportage photographer Tom Stoddart, shoots new ‘Healthcare in Danger’ campaign and sponsorship of new TEDx event ignite partnership
LONDON, 29th November, 2011 - Getty Images is pleased to announce that it is partnering with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). As part of the agreement, Reportage by Getty Images sponsored the ICRC’s TEDx event, TEDxRC², which took place in Geneva and across the globe, via webcast, on Sunday 27th November.  As part of the partnership, award-winning Reportage photographer Tom Stoddart has shot the organisation’s recent ICRC campaign, ‘Healthcare in Danger’. The initiative aims to address the widespread and severe impact of illegal and forceful acts that obstruct the delivery of sound health care in armed conflicts and other situations of violence.   The print campaign launched in August, 2011 and can be seen across multiple platforms, including print and public transport. Getty Images will continue to support the ICRC over the next two years by producing a body of work from its Reportage photographers which will be published in magazines around the world, viewable across digital platforms from Tumblr to Ipad Apps and will culminate in a touring exhibition.   Nick Evans-Lombe, Chief Operating Officer, Getty Images said: “We are delighted to partner with the ICRC for its ‘Healthcare in Danger’ campaign and beyond. Through the images that Tom shot for the print campaign, to our involvement in the TEDx event, we hope to help raise awareness and highlight the importantissues faced in war-torn communities.”   ‘Multiplying the power of humanity’  was the theme of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s first-ever TEDx event, called TEDxRC². It lasted for two hours and focused on innovative and thought-provoking ideas for tackling the world’s toughest humanitarian challenges.   Sponsored by a number of global brands including Reportage by Getty Images, the event featured seven speakers, including Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, with around 700 invitees attending.   At the cocktail party following the event, a giant 10 x 6 meter screen presented stunning  award winning  images from the Reportage photographers including a  very powerful selection from The Arab Spring.   “Violence against health-care facilities and personnel must end. It’s a matter of life and death,” said Yves Daccord, the director-general of the ICRC. “The human cost is staggering: civilians and fighters often die from their injuries simply because they are prevented from receiving timely medical assistance.”   “Addressing the issue effectively will require humanitarian dialogue, respect for the law and the adoption of appropriate measures by States, armed forces and non-State actors,” said Mr Daccord. “The ICRC is committed to working with all concerned in order to secure effective and impartial health care.  Deliberate assaults on health-care personnel, facilities and transports, as well as on the wounded and sick, violate international law. The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols set out the right of the wounded and sick – combatants and civilians alike – to be respected and protected during armed conflict and to receive timely medical treatment.”