War and conflict are major causes of human suffering. They also cause environmental degradation, perpetuate inequalities and undermine democracy. Nuclear bombs and other indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction are incompatible with the public health aims of safety and health protection.
But a vast complex of standing armies, militias, weapons manufacturers, arms traders and politicians promote war, violence and militarism out of self-interest and greed, or because they fail to see better alternatives for resolving conflict and disputes.
Health professionals have a long history of: providing humanitarian relief; facilitating ceasefires and the cessation of conflict; promoting disarmament and peacebuilding; and providing impartial evidence on the perpetration of war crimes.
Medact grew out of the medical peace movement and is the UK affiliate of the Nobel Laureate International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).
Medact continues to promote disarmament and encourage investment in nonviolent responses to conflict; seek the abolition of nuclear weapons; and reduce the power and influence of the global military-industrial complex. It promotes the universal right to health as a platform for peace building and more effective international diplomacy and cooperation.
With the recent announcement of Tasers being made more widely available for use by the police in the UK, black feminist organiser and Global Health postgraduate Sarah Lasoye argues that the health community must take notice.
To correspond with the recent publication of the IPPNW-Germany paper ‘How Nuclear Power powers the Bomb’, we publish a blog by Frank Boulton outlining the financial, environmental, health and geo-political arguments around nuclear power.
Medact is looking for someone with a passion for health justice who’s keen to gain high-quality experience in a campaigning organisation. Our movement of campaigning healthcare workers is expanding; and our team is growing. This is an exciting time to join us in a role at the centre of everything we do!
With the DSEI arms fair underway, Daniel Flecknoe and Dr Ahmed Razavi outline the public health impacts of armed conflict, and argue that the UK government’s sale of arms to countries such as Saudi Arabia makes them an accessory to war crimes.
After joining protests outside the DSEI arms fair earlier this month, we are holding a meeting to discuss the arms trade, war and health.