Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

(Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Preamble, Article 1, Article 25.1)

In accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, EMERGENCY recognises the right to be cured as a basic and inalienable human right belonging to every member of the human family without distinction of any kind.

This is because we believe in the equality of all human beings, regardless of their opinions, sex, race, ethnic, political or religious background, social status or property.

We want a world in which governments guarantee the equality of all members of society and the right to a medical treatment that is both of a high standard and free; the right to a public education system that develops each person, each human being, enriching their knowledge and intellect; the right to benefit from the freedom of media.

To us, a political system is democratic only if it works for the common well-being, favouring in its actions the needs of the underprivileged and the needs of the weakest social groups in order to improve their living conditions, so that we may all be a society of equal citizens.


On the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights EMERGENCY issued its Manifesto for a Human Rights Based Medicine which calls for healthcare based on the principles of equality, quality and social responsibility. 

The Manifesto has been undersigned by representatives of Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.


Every human being has the right to be cured regardless his economic or social condition, gender, race, language, religion and opinions. Standards of healthcare, set by the progress of medical knowledge, should be delivered equally and without discrimination to all patients.


Quality systems must be based on community’s needs and be up to date with the achievements of medical science. They should not be oriented, shaped or determined by lobbies and corporations involved in the health industry. Quality systems strengthen and generate human and material resources.


Governments should have the health and wellbeing of their citizens as their priority and they should allocate adequate human and financial resources to these ends. The services provided by health systems and humanitarian projects in the health sector must be free of charge for all.


Every day EMERGENCY deals with the destruction and suffering caused by war. For this reason EMERGENCY has always been committed to promoting a culture of peace not only in the countries where its medical and surgical projects are based, but everywhere in the world.

In 1994 EMERGENCY entered the campaign against antipersonnel landmines which brought Italy to ban them. Together with other organisations, in 2002 EMERGENCY launched a campaign against the imminent invasion of Iraq and in 2011 against the war in Afghanistan. And everyday through our work we promote peace, through speaking out against war and by declaring our facilities weapons-free zones.

We repudiate the use of violence, terrorism and war as instruments to resolve disputes between individuals, peoples and nations. We want a world based on social justice, on solidarity, on reciprocal respect, on dialogue, and on an equal distribution of resources.