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International Duty to Protect Persons in the Event of Disasters - Focusing on the Works of the ILC -

  • Crisisonomy
  • Abbr : KRCEM
  • 2014, 10(1), pp.1-28
  • Publisher : Crisis and Emergency Management: Theory and Praxis
  • Research Area : Social Science > Public Policy > Public Policy in general

Yoo, Hee Jin 1

1안양대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article is a review and analysis of the draft articles provisionally adopted by the International Law Commission(ILC) of the United Nations under the topic of "protection of persons in the event of disasters". The essential part of the ILC's work is its recognition of the affected State's duty protect persons within its territory in the event of disaster. It particularly relates to such situation that took place in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis that stroke Myanmar in 2008. When an affected State is unable to effectively provide sufficient relief and assistance to the affected persons within its territory, it should rely on external assistance. If in that situation the State refuses to consent to external assistance for political or other reasons, it intensifies the sufferings and casualties on the part of the affected persons. The draft articles confirms that the State has a duty to ensure the protection of persons and provision of disaster relief and assistance on its territory, and endows the State with the primary role in the direction, control, coordination and supervision of such relief and assistance. This implies the dual aspects of the State's sovereignty. The State, by virtue of sovereignty, has the ability to preclude other international actors from interfering with its domestic affairs while at the same time, it should assume the duty to protect its persons for the very same reason. The State has the duty to cooperate with other international actors while assuming the primary role in the direction, control, coordination and supervision of the relief and assistance. This article notes the balance struck between the dual aspects of sovereignty and the human rights of the affected persons, on which the rights and obligations of other international actors are build. It also draws a connection between the logic of the responsibility to protect(R2P) and the protection of persons in the event of disasters, while acknowledging that the possibility of triggering the former for the latter has effectively been denied by the relevant international instruments.

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