Is There an International Duty to Protect Persons in the Event of an Epidemic?

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Title Is There an International Duty to Protect Persons in the Event of an Epidemic?
Author Davies, Sara Ellen
Journal Name Global Health Governance
Editor Yanzhong Huang
Year Published 2010
Place of publication United States
Publisher Seton Hall University
Abstract In 2006, the International Law Commission began a study into the role of states and international organizations in protecting persons in the event of a disaster. Special Rapporteur Mr. Eduardo Valencia-Ospina was appointed to head the study, and in 2011 the findings of the study will be presented to the United Nations General Assembly. Of interest to this paper has been the inclusion of “epidemics” under the natural disaster category in all of the reports detailing the Commission's program of work on the protection of persons. This paper seeks to examine the legal and political ramifications involved in including “epidemic” into the concept of protection by exploring where sovereign responsibility for epidemic control begins and ends, particularly in light of the revisions to the International Health Regulations by the World Health Assembly in 2005. The paper will first analyze the findings already presented by the Special Rapporteur, examining the existing “responsibilities” of both states and international organizations. Then, the paper will consider to what extent the concept of protection entails the duty to assist individuals when an affected state proves unwilling or unable to assist their own population in the event of a disease outbreak. In an attempt to answer this question, the third part of the paper will examine the recent cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI
Volume 3
Issue Number 2
Page from 1
Page to 23
ISSN 1939-2389
Date Accessioned 2010-06-04
Language en_AU
Research Centre Centre for Governance and Public Policy; Griffith Asia Institute
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject International Relations
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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