Health Worker Protests & Proposals

The Health Worker Protest pilot project launched in May 2020. This open-source initiative monitors, collects, and shares media reports of health worker protests and proposals around the world— coronavirus-related and beyond. The collection of these reports is intended to help raise awareness of accountability challenges in the health sector, highlighting the needs and proposals of health workers.


This pilot learning project seeks to understand the relationship between the right to health and the rights of health workers. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is straining both public and private health care systems around the world. Health workers risk their own lives to ensure access to healthcare and protect the lives of others. Frontline health workers are still at great risk, from lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) to discrimination or harassment. Some face repercussions for whistleblowing or walkouts. The current global crisis has given rise to a new wave of innovative protests and proposals from health workers on the frontline.

The initiative launched in May of 2020. In the first year of this initiative, this ARC pilot project received and shared over 830 health worker protest and proposal reports from 96 countries.

Why Health Worker Protests?

This pilot project attempts to learn from patterns that may emerge when we see the international diversity of health worker protests and proposals. Recognition of health worker voices and actions will shed light on a wide range of accountability failures in public health and governance systems, as well as uplift health worker proposals for how to improve public health systems.

This pilot project builds on the ARC mission by:

  • Recognizing the work, needs, and proposals of health worker advocates.
  • Sharing diverse and creative approaches to accountability challenges in the health sector.
  • Enabling health rights advocates and allies to gain insights or inspiration from the protests and proposals around the world.


Jennifer Johnson, a research and communications consultant with ARC laid the groundwork for this project along with ARC colleagues Jonathan Fox, Naomi Hossain, Julia Fischer-Mackey, and Angela Bailey. The project is also supported by ARC communications assistant Rehana Paul.

We designed this initiative with crowd-sourcing in mind and you (yes, you!) are invited to collaborate. Please share reports you find of health worker protests and proposals worldwide, from sources that you consider credible. Relevant reports include media coverage (local, national or international media, or on social media) of various forms of public collective action, as well as statements from health worker organizations or whistleblowers. We welcome reports in all languages.

Please share more reports with us!

Twitter: Share reports using the #HealthWorkerProtest hashtag or tag @HealthWorkerPro

Twitter DM: Share directly to our Twitter account @HealthWorkerPro

Email: Send reports to

Want to co-create a research and advocacy agenda with us?

We invite inquiries from researchers and organizations of health workers to discuss potential shared agendas. Please contact us via social media or email.

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