No Place Of Greater Safety


20170918Michael Goldfarb reports on the attacks on hospitals in Syria and other war zones.

Today's wars are fought without rules. In Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, South Sudan and a dozen other places, the customary laws that govern conflicts - like the Geneva Conventions - have been torn up. Hospitals and other medical facilities have become the front line. Where can civilians go for aid when there are no longer safe places for doctors and nurses to practice medicine?

Michael Goldfarb looks at the relentless assaults on medical practitioners in recent years.

The numbers are devastating. In 2016 there was an assault on a medical facility almost every single day. More than 60 percent of Syria's medical infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed. For every soldier killed, ten civilians die.

Through the personal testimony of veteran medical workers who have been under fire, Michael tells the story of how destroying hospitals has become a tactic of war. He investigates why the Geneva Conventions have been ignored and whether it is time for new rules to govern modern warfare, whose primary target is civilians, not soldiers.

A Certain Height production for BBC Radio 4

Photo credit: (c)Medecins Sans Frontieres.