Working in fragile and conflict-affected states - our position

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health is mandated by mission statement to support improving child health in the UK and around the world. RCPCH Global’s strategic plan includes explicit commitment to work in the poorest countries. Many low-income countries are also classified as ‘fragile and/or conflict-affected’.

RCPCH affirms that

  • the College maintains an unqualified commitment to human rights including child rights as set out in the current architecture of international humanitarian and human rights legislation, treaty agreements, conventions and norms
  • the College maintains a close and continuous review of its geographical areas of engagement and operation outside the UK, with a view to understanding child health needs and social, political and economic environment contextualising those needs in different political and institutional settings
  • areas of engagement and operation are reviewed and approved through a rigorous process of testing context and College role, through the RCPCH Global team, Senior Management Team and Council
  • the College reserves the right to refuse to undertake work in countries or areas which present a security threat to members, staff or associates, and in countries or areas in which provision of support to child health entails unacceptable interaction with regimes with a verifiable international record of grave humanitarian or serious human rights abuses, but equally
  • the College also reserves the right to engage and operate in fragile states on the basis of their prevalent levels of poverty and/or poor child health, where provision of support to paediatric education and health care capacity building can be achieved without undue association with or direct support to reputationally problematic regimes.