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Attacks on Medical Care in Armed Conflict

  • 2043 Rayburn House Office Building (map)

Monday, September 17, 2018
12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
2043 Rayburn House Office Building

In conflicts around the world, doctors and other medical practitioners repeatedly face attacks while trying to save lives. Violence against medical workers, hospitals, and other health
facilities undercuts the delivery of urgent medical care and disrupts health care systems when people need them most. These attacks result in immediate death and injury and also have far-reaching and long-lasting effects. Frequently, such attacks also violate
the laws of armed conflict or international humanitarian law (IHL), which regulate the conduct of war.

Attacks against medical personnel and facilities are a persistent problem in contemporary armed conflicts and require the immediate attention of governments. Historically the United
States has played a key role in advancing the principles of IHL. Congress can play an important leadership and oversight role in developing policy responses to this critical challenge.

Please join us for a timely panel discussion on the protection of medical personnel and facilities in armed conflicts and other emergencies on
Monday, September 17 from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. in Rayburn 2043.
The panel will include:

  • Trevor Keck, Deputy Head of Policy and Humanitarian Affairs Advisor, International Committee
    of the Red Cross

  • Randall Bagwell, Director for International Humanitarian Law, American Red Cross

  • Leonard Rubenstein, Professor, Johns Hopkins University

  • Rhoda Margesson, Specialist in International Humanitarian Policy, Congressional Research
    Service (moderator)

The event will begin with a showing of the
short film “Tabib”
 about the last pediatrician in Aleppo.

This event is co-sponsored by the
International Committee of the Red Cross 
and the American Red Cross in cooperation with the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.

Please RSVP to Alejandra Portillo-Taylor (aportillotaylor@icrc.org)
by Wednesday, September 12 if you plan to attend.
Full-time staff only please. Lunch will be provided. 


Randy Bagwell joined the American Red Cross after more than thirty years of service
as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officer in the U.S. Army. As a legal advisor for the Army, Randy performed duties ranging from prosecuting and defending criminal cases to advising on administrative and regulatory matters, however, his specialty, and the
majority of his assignments, were in International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Randy has taught IHL at the U.S. Naval War College, the U.S. Army JAG School, the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies, the NATO School and the Institute of International
Humanitarian Law in Sanremo, Italy. He has also instructed on IHL with partner nations in over 20 countries. Additionally, he has advised senior military commanders on IHL during operational deployments to Hungary in support of Operations in Bosnia, two tours
in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. His degrees include a Bachelor Science in Business Administration, Master of Arts in National Policy and Strategic Studies, a Juris Doctor, and Masters of Laws (LL.M.) in Military Law. Prior to joining the Red Cross, Randy held
the position of Dean of the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Virginia. The U.S. Army JAG School the only American Bar Association accredited law school in the U.S. Government.

Trevor Keck serves as Deputy Head of Policy and Humanitarian Affairs Advisor with the Washington Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In this capacity, he represents the ICRC to a wide range of audiences in the U.S. and
Canada, advocates for humanitarian policies, and provides policy advice and strategic support to ICRC staff across the organization – from delegates in the field to senior staff at headquarters. Prior to joining the ICRC, he was an Afghanistan researcher for
Center for Civilians in Conflict, an organization that seeks to make warring parties more responsible to civilians. Based in Kabul, he conducted research on civilian protection issues, authored reports and engaged in advocacy on behalf of civilians harmed
by parties to the conflict. Trevor holds a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a Bachelor in Peace and Conflict Studies from Chapman University graduating
magna cum laude.

Rhoda Margesson is a Specialist in International Humanitarian
Policy in the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division at the Congressional Research Service (CRS) where she conducts research and policy analysis on global humanitarian issues, disaster relief, displaced populations, migration, and some aspects of human
rights. In addition, she currently teaches in the Global Fellows Program at the University of Maryland and volunteers as a mediator in Washington, DC’s Superior Court Family Mediation Program. She earned a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy and a Ph.D. from
the Fletcher School.  

Leonard Rubenstein is a lawyer who has spent his career in human rights, and now focuses particularly on health and human rights, especially the protection of health in armed
conflict, and the roles of health professionals in human rights. At Johns Hopkins he is core faculty of the Center for Public Health and Human Rights and the Berman Institute of Bioethics. Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins he served as Executive Director and
then President of Physicians for Human Rights, as a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, and as Executive Director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. Mr. Rubenstein’s current work includes advancing protection
of health facilities, patients, and health workers in situations of conflict, developing a screening tool to identify survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in refugee settings, and exploring ethical responsibilities of health professionals to advance
human rights.  Mr. Rubenstein founded and chairs the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition.