A human rights approach to health care in conflict
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 August 2013
Attacks on and interference with health care services, providers, facilities, transports, and patients in situations of armed conflict, civil disturbance, and state repression pose enormous challenges to health care delivery in circumstances where it is most needed. In times of armed conflict, international humanitarian law (IHL) provides robust protection to health care services, but it also contains gaps. Moreover, IHL does not cover situations where an armed conflict does not exist. This paper focuses on the importance of a human rights approach to addressing these challenges, relying on the highest attainable standard of health as well as to civil and political rights. In particular we take the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights General Comment No. 14 (on Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) as a normative framework from which states' obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the right to health across all conflict settings can be further developed.
- Research Article
- International Review of the Red Cross , Volume 95 , Issue 889: Violence against health care Part I: The problem and the law , March 2013 , pp. 167 - 187
- Copyright © icrc 2013
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27 The other grave violations are: killing or maiming of children; recruitment or use of children as soldiers; sexual violence against children; denial of humanitarian access for children, and abduction of children. See, inter alia, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, ‘The six grave violations’, available at: http://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/effects-of-conflict/the-most-grave-violations/ (last visited 22 July 2013).
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30 See AP I, Art. 57.
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36 See GC I, Arts. 19, 18, 24–26; GC II, Art. 36; GC IV, Arts. 18 and 20; AP I, Arts. 12 and 15; 1949 GC Common Article 3; AP II, Art. 9(1); and CIL, Rules 25, 28, and 29.
37 See GC I, Art. 21; AP I, Art. 13; and AP II, Art. 11. Acts not considered ‘harmful to the enemy’ include carrying light individual weapons for self-defence or defence of the wounded and sick; the presence of, or escort by, military personnel; and the possession of small arms and ammunition taken from the wounded and sick and not yet handed over to the proper authority. See ICRC Customary Law Study, commentaries of Rules 25 and 29.
38 See AP I, Art. 8(c).
39 See AP I, Art. 16; and AP II, Art. 10.
40 See AP I, Art. 16; and AP II, Art. 10.
41 See AP I, Art. 51(3); AP II, Art. 13(3); and CIL, Rule 6.
42 See AP I, Art. 10, commentary.
43 See GC I, Art. 12; GC II, Art. 12; AP I, Art. 10(2); AP II, Art. 7(2); GC Common Article 3.
44 See AP I, Art. 8(a).
45 See GC I, Art. 23; GC IV, Art. 14; CIL, Rule 35.
46 See CIL, Rule 35.
47 See GC I, Art. 19; GC IV, Art. 18; AP I, Art. 12; AP II, Art. 11(1), CIL, Rule 28.
48 See GC I, Art. 35; GC IV, Art. 21; AP I, Art. 21; AP II, Art. 11(1); CIL, Rule 29.
49 See ICRC Customary Law Study, Vol. I, commentary of Rule 28.
50 Art. 12 (4) AP I.
51 See ICRC Customary Law Study, Vol. I, commentary of Rule 29.
52 See CIL, Rules 28 and 29.
53 See Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Arts. 8(2)(b)(ix) and 8(2)(e)(iv).
54 See Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Arts. 8(2)(b)(xxiv) and 8(2)(b)(e)(ii).
55 See GC I, Art. 21; GC IV, Art. 19; AP I, Art. 13(1); AP II, Art. 11(2).
56 See ICCPR, Art. 7; and CAT.
58 Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Mendez, 1 February 2013, A/HRC/22/53.
59 See UDHR, Art. 9; and ICCPR, Art. 9.
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