L e i l a G o r c h e v / A F P P h o t o
Combatants who are wounded or sick, andthereore not ghting, cease to be a legitimatetarget o attack. International humanitarian
law provides or their protection against death,
and any orm o urther injury, harassment anddiscrimination, as well as against impedimentsto their timely access to health care. In armedconfict and in other situations o violence,civilians are protected in accordance withinternational law.
Violence against the wounded and the sick
Military personnel are obliged by international
humanitarian law to actively search or wounded
combatants and civilians ater a battle, and toacilitate their access to medical care. Unor-tunately, this is not being done in many o
today’s conficts. Furthermore, checkpoints and
roadblocks requently delay patients’ access tohealth-care services. Many victims o confictlanguish in pain as their vehicle waits in line ora checkpoint inspection, or are orced to reachhealth-care acilities on oot because o roadclosures. In situations o violence that do notreach the threshold o armed confict, humanrights law contains similar rules assuring, orthe wounded and the sick, the right o accessto health care.