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August 4, 1993

A Framework for Survival: Health, Human Rights, and Humanitarian Assistance in Conflicts and Disasters

Author Affiliations

World Health Organization Geneva, Switzerland

JAMA. 1993;270(5):646. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510050112043

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Since the start of the decade, the US medical community and its professional press have increasingly focused on human rights issues, although, as is pointed out by H. Jack Geiger, one of the speakers at a September 1992 conference of the Council on Foreign Relations, whose remarks are included in this book, "There is nothing new about... violations of medical neutrality, torture, and other blatant human rights violations... and nothing new... about the deliberate destruction of civilian populations."

Nevertheless, this increased attention to human rights issues, largely stimulated by media coverage of the relief efforts directed toward Kurdish refugees in the wake of the Gulf War, by the televised horrors of Somalia, and by the seemingly insoluble war in the former Yugoslavia, is certainly both warranted and welcome. The speeches published in this book are by a diverse group of politicians, physicians, administrators, and development professionals. Together, they have both