We speak out

We speak out

50th Union World Conference on Lung Health - Protest Caption
The moment protesters take over the stage during the official opening ceremony of the 50th Union Conference on Lung Health to demand fairer pricing for tuberculosis treatments.

For many, MSF is synonymous with emergency medical teams tackling disasters, wars and epidemics around the world. But we also work to raise awareness and create debate about these crises through our policy of speaking out. 

This means we act as a witness and shed light on, either in private or in public,  the plight of people in danger for whom we work.

In doing so, we set out to alleviate human suffering, to protect life and health and to restore respect for human beings and their fundamental human rights.

We are not sure that words can always save lives, but we know that silence can certainly kill.

Dr James Orbinski
Former MSF president


MSF is an outspoken and self-critical organisation. We expect and demand high standards from ourselves and other organisations. 

We speak out if we think other humanitarian organisations are being dishonest, compromised or slow to react. But we also examine and critique our own performance.

We believe it is important that we are honest about the difficulties of delivering world-class medical care during disasters.

We continually reflect and seek to get better, opening the process to the public on our Speaking Out website and publications.

We have advocacy, research and campaigning units pushing to change the world in which we work.

MSF’s Access Campaign, for example, defends people’s right to access inexpensive generic medicines and pushes for more research into neglected diseases.

Collectively, the MSF movement works to help the people in the greatest need, wherever and whenever they need it. This will always be what motivates us.