21 Mar 2024 20:00 - 21:45 Cambridge Union Society, 9A Bridge Street, CB2 1UB


Registration is not required, we look forward to seeing you there!


  • Joanna Page, Director of the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.
  • James Campbell is Director of Health Workforce at the World Health Organisation based in Geneva and was the Executive Director of the Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA).
  • Lindsey Hilsum, Channel 4 News International Editor, has covered major conflicts from Iraq to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Her second book, In Extremis: The Life and Death of the War Correspondent Marie Colvin, published in 2018 was shortlisted for the 2019 Costa book prize in the biography section. Lindsey is the founder and a trustee of the Marie Colvin Journalist Network, an online network that supports Arab women journalists.
  • Rob Williams is CEO of the War Child Alliance, with a focus on the mental health impact of conflict and advocacy related to the lack of accountability related to attacks on healthcare.
  • Jack Sproson is a Member of the Bar of England and Wales and a Member of Guernica 37 Chambers. He has extensive expertise in humanitarian and legal issues pertaining to conflict and climate related insecurity and displacement in Africa and the Middle East.
  • Sameer Sah is Director of Programmes, UK, Medical Aid for Palestine (MAP) was previously, the International Programme Director at TB Alert, UK. Sameer led one of the first British medical teams into Gaza in December 2023.
  • Saleyha Ahsan is an ESRC scholar doing a PhD at Newnham College, researching the impact of attacks against healthcare in armed conflict. She is also a broadcaster and filmmaker and a former British Army Officer.


In war healthcare and the media are protected entities under international humanitarian law. But the emblems they wear, be it the Red Cross or Crescent or the word PRESS, are increasingly making them a target, with the current situation in the Middle East and Ukraine highlighting the risks.

This event starts with a screening of the 2003 documentary, Article 17- Doctors in Palestine (distributed by British Council, Cannes Film Festival and Raindance Film Festival), depicting the challenges faced by healthcare workers and journalists working in conflict zones, made by filmmaker Dr Saleyha Ahsan. It will be followed by a discussion focusing on what can be done about the rising risks for reporters and medics with a panel of conflict-experienced practitioners and researchers: Dr James Campbell (WHO), Lindsey Hilsum (Channel 4 News), Toby Cadman (The Guernica Group), Rob Williams (War Child Alliance) and Dr Saleyha Ahsan (International Health Systems Group, Cambridge).

Warning: The film contains distressing content including violence and serious injury.

Cambridge Festival logo with stylised brain.

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