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Accepting Assistance in the Aftermath of Disasters

Standards for States under International Law

Book | 1st edition 2015 | World | Stefanie Jansen-Wilhelm

Disasters have a devastating effect on the lives of people. The occurrence of a disaster can kill thousands in an instance, injure many others, damage homes and destroy livelihoods. It is of essential importance that the response to a disaster is as effective and adequate as possible to limit and alleviate the suffering of disaster survivors. To this end, affected states can make use of offers of humanitarian assistance made by other states, international (humanitarian) organisations and NGOs. Such international assistance is vital for the effective response to a disaster when the affected state is unable (or unwilling) to respond adequately. When in such cases the affected state refuses to accept international humanitarian assistance, the disaster survivors suffer the consequences.

Within public international law there are no legally binding instruments dealing explicitly with the obligations of states in the aftermath of disasters. Rather, a variety of sources can be used as pieces of a puzzle determining to what extent states have an obligation to accept international humanitarian assistance in disaster settings. In the first part of this book, these pieces of the puzzle are put together to create a legal framework explaining the steps an affected state must take in seeking and accepting humanitarian assistance. It becomes clear from the application of this framework that detail is lacking to make the framework of practical use.

The needs which disaster survivors are usually deprived of (shelter, food, water and access to basic healthcare) are laid down as human rights in the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The second part of the book will use this human rights instrument to concretise the legal framework, as such setting standards determining when an affected state must accept international humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of a disaster.

Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Paperback
EAN / ISSN 9781780683294 / 9781780685076
Series name Human Rights Research Series
Weight 460 g
Status Available
Number of pages xvi + 246 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date Jun 23, 2015
Available on Jurisquare No
Available on Strada Belgique No
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of Contents
  • Part I
  • Chapter I. General Introduction
  • Chapter II. Disaster Response and International Humanitarian Assistance: Background and Legal Framework
  • Chapter III. Practical Application of the Rules on International Humanitarian Assistance in Response to Disasters
  • Preliminary Conclusions
  • Part II
  • Chapter IV. The Content and Meaning of Article 2(1) ICESCR
  • Chapter V. Applying the ICESCR on Disaster Situations: Specific Obligations
  • Chapter VI. Final Conclusions
  • Summary
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • School of Human Rights Research Series