· Frédéric Casier, firstname.lastname@example.org, Conseiller juridique en Droit international humanitaire et relations avec le Mouvement, Croix-Rouge de Belgique – Communauté francophone
· Laura De Grève, email@example.com, IHL dissemination officer, Belgian Red Cross-Flanders
Raising awareness can be considered as a first step in enhancing the secure functioning of health care. In that sense:
o The Belgian Red Cross raised the HCiD issue in its IHL training activities or information sessions (military personnel, students, humanitarian actors, general public…).
o At several opportunities, the National Society also raised awareness on the issue towards the media and general public (newsletters on IHL, interviews, etc…). We also participated in the campaign of the ICRC #WeAreNotATarget on social media in February 2017.
At the international level, the Belgian Red Cross co-signed and supported the open letter prepared in May 2016 by the ICRC, following the adoption of the UNSC Resolution 2286 on Health Care in armed conflict.
The Belgian Red Cross started with the implementation of its IHL programme for 2017-2021 and included HCiD as one of the main issues of advocacy. Furthermore, IHL training activities of the medical personnel (civilian and military) and training or information sessions on HCiD for staff members of the National Society are listed amongst the activities.
Discussions have been launched within the National IHL Committee and with the Ministry of Defence in order to define approaches towards the civil and military medical personnel for the promotion and implementation of the HCiD recommendations (see question 4).
Furthermore, the Belgian Red Cross is part of the HCiD Movement Reference Group, which is an important stakeholder.
No concrete actions regarding data collection were conducted since no specific incident or problem related to the delivery of health care was observed in Belgium during the period covered by the current report.
See answer to question 1 (ii): HCiD is a priority theme in the IHL program. The Belgian Red Cross raised the HCiD issue in its IHL training activities or information sessions for its staff members.
The Belgian Red Cross is part of the National Committee of IHL. In the Working Group on IHL dissemination, we have started a reflection on a strategy to approach the medical members and whether specific IHL dissemination activities focused on their rights and responsibilities and on the protection and the uses of the emblems should be developed. A note stating the current state of affair was drafted between June and November. A follow-up to this process is foreseen in 2017.
In June 2016, according to a cooperation agreement concluded in 2012 in the area of training between the Ministry of Defence and the Belgian Red Cross, the two partners met in order to agree upon an action plan for July 2016-June 2017. This plan of action provides several training activities of IHL, including a possible cooperation between the National Society and the medical component of the Defence to implement Resolution 4 of the 32nd International Conference and the Belgian pledge on training of the medical personnel (SP320115).
According to the joint pledge adopted by Belgium and the Belgian Red Cross on strengthening the domestic normative framework on the protection of health-care personnel and facilities (SP320116), identification of relevant contacts which might have an important role to analyze the existing legislation is in progress. The opportunity to set up an ad hoc working group dedicated to the analysis of the domestic normative framework and supported by the National IHL Committee is also still being discussed.