Medact News October 2016

Medact has been busy in the last few months. Here are just a few highlights of recent and upcoming activities.


Medact Annual General meeting 2016


Medact’s Annual General meeting took place on 17 September at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Thank you to all who participated and contributed to the AGM and discussions in the workshops held in the afternoon.

We are especially grateful to author Andrew Feinstein, who joined us to speak about the arms trade, and the organisers of the two workshops that followed the AGM.

In the first workshop, Sarah Alhulail and Ben Clavey updated the audience on the work of Medact’s Arms & Militarisation group – please see below regarding media coverage of their work.

In the second workshop, the Medact Refugee Solidarity group (Marie Pillar, Helen and Jamie Leveret) presented an excellent training session on the right to access healthcare, which they will be delivering across the country on behalf of Doctors of the World.




In the news: letter to Liam Fox


On 21 September the Medact Arms and Militarisation group delivered a letter to Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, calling for an end to UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and all sides in the conflict in Yemen. Liam Fox, a former GP, is responsible for licensing arms sales.

Media coverage of the letter, which had been signed by 200 health professionals, included mention in The Observer (Sunday 25 September, 2016). You can read more about the letter here and Sarah Alhulail’s personal letter here.




Welcome to new Medact Oxford Group


We are very pleased to announce that a new Medact Oxford group launched on 28 September 2016. The launch event focused on improving hospital food, with presentations and intense discussions.


UK child soldiers – Medact to release new report on 18 October 


The UK is the only country in Europe to recruit children aged 16 into the armed forces and the only permanent member of the UN Security Council to recruit under 18s. The country faces pressure from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UK’s Joint Committee on Human Rights and many other organisations to raise the recruitment age to 18, the age of majority.

Medact’s report details the risks to health that are disproportionately faced by child recruits, including self-harm, suicide, death or injury from combat, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It also examines how recruitment is concentrated in areas of socio-economic disadvantage, and how this and other recruitment practices lead to vulnerable children ending up on the front line.

Medact will release its new report on recruitment of child soldiers in the UK on 18 October at an event in Brighton. Speakers include: Joe Glenton (Afghanistan veteran, author and journalist), Sally Slotowitz (author of the report), and David Gee (UK Coordinator of Child Soldiers International).

More information about the event is available here.




Healthy Planet, Better World conference 


This year’s major Medact conference, “Healthy Planet, Better World”, takes place on 9 – 10 December in London. The programme and impressive list of speakers are available here.




Medact Office update


Medact now has a Deputy Director (Joy Hyvarinen), a Peace and Security Campaigns and Policy Manager (Aidan King) and a part-time Digital Design Officer (Ciprian Diaconita).

As usual, several talented and dedicated volunteers form part of the team in the office – big thanks to all of them!


Coming soon – new Medact website 


Look out for the revamped Medact website, which we will be launching in the near future. Please let us know what you think about it!


And finally – why join Medact? 


Be part of a growing progressive health movement.

You can be as passive or active as you like.

For example, if you want to be active you could get involved in campaigning or fundraising, be part of a Medact group, or establish a new group.

Meet and work with others who care about peace, social justice, human rights and the environment.

Learn about important issues of the day from leading experts involved with Medact.

Get two years’ free online subscription to the Medact-affiliated academic journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival.

Get discounted tickets to Medact events.

Any questions about membership? Email us at [email protected].