More than 15,000 of medical students annually go for Exchanges through IFMSA. This in addition to GAs, RMs, SRTs and other events bringing participants from different countries together happening all year long. As the experience of SCORP Camp 2018 showed us, it is sad to admit that sometimes the human rights affecting situations happen during students’ stays abroad, even if they are surrounded by other IFMSA members and coordinators! Such situations might go unnoticed/unreported, thus adding to the depth of the problem.
No one is immune from societal inequities and power structures, and so not our organizations. As IFMSA and SCORP it is our responsibility to promote and respect human rights not only externally, but also internally; in the way we function and and by protecting the rights of our members. IFMSA cannot effectively strive to make the world a better place while perpetuating an organisational culture deeply marked by different forms of intolerance, inequities and power abuse!
Through the Intersectional IFMSA initiative we aim to address this serious issue we may have within our Federation. Because it should never be assumed that these types of incidents are single and isolated events, on the contrary, just like how it happens outside of our Federation, they usually occur as a part of a bigger problem which means the potential for them to happen in different ways is still there. Therefore, it is crucial that the extent of the issue is understood, and reflected upon with subsequent measures taken to ensure the prevention of such incidents, the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as the promotion of safe spaces in our Federation.
About Intersectional IFMSA
The Intersectional IFMSA initiative was brought to life in light of the shocking incidents of discrimination that occurred during SCORP Camp 2018, and the need to thoroughly evaluate the inclusiveness and safety of our events.
The initiative aims to identify the scale of the problem we have within IFMSA, on local national and international levels through documenting and reporting on the experiences of our members; evaluating the impact of our current measures; creating and implementing an action plan in order to improve our measures and capacitate our members.
During the first year of the our initiative we manage to make an assessment regarding the human rights issues faced within the National Member Organizations and on an international level. Good practices implemented by the Member Organizations, and members‘ recommendations for IFMSA Leadership were collected. We asked our members how effective they thought our current measures were and what actions should we take as IFMSA Leadership in order to both support NMOs with their struggles and protect human rights in IFMSA Settings. The results of the assessment can be found through the Intersectional IFMSA Report 2019.