Global Health

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Inadequate State Response to Protect Life and Health in Times of COVID-19 as a Violation of Human Rights Obligations – the Example of Poland

While the fourth wave of COVID-19 pandemics flows over Europe and other continents, States undertake different steps and measures aimed at minimizing the spread of the virus. Many countries and regions introduced the requirement of COVID certificates/passes, while some plan to implement mandatory vaccinations at least for certain occupations. These measures have spurred discussions of discrimination and legitimate justifications that could support interferences in personal freedom and autonomy. This post though presents a completely different perspective, as the main focus is directed to the question of State responsibility for the consequences of NOT introducing adequate measures to minimize the spread of the virus. This post analyses the positive obligations of States to fight epidemic diseases under IHRL, and offers arguments for the accountability of States for not protecting the life and health of individuals under their jurisdiction.

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Covid Passes and Non-Discrimination

Today the British Parliament will decide on whether England will follow other parts of the UK – and many other states – in requiring the use of Covid passes (passports, certificates) to access certain public venues and services. Public debates surrounding the introduction of such passes frequently turn on their real or supposed discriminatory effects. It is black…

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The Role of the Right to Health in a “Hidden” Pandemic: Antimicrobial Resistance

Last week, UK health officials declared that a "hidden pandemic" of antibiotic-resistant infections could soon threaten human health and lives. More cold symptoms are expected this winter, due to an increase in social mixing, but the UK Health Security Agency warn against premature and inadequate use of antibiotics. However, this menace is not new and not…

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Punishing Compliance with International Law: The Omicron Variant and the International Health Regulations (2005)

On 24 November 2021, the government of South Africa reported the presence of a new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to the World Health Organization. The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Evolution (TAG-VE), an independent group of experts, designated the new variant, denominated “Omicron”, to be a “Variant of Concern” (VOC). The TAG-VE's preliminary analysis of the…

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International Economic Law in a Time of Global Perils: Omicron and other COVID variants, Climate Change, Human Rights, and Development

The World Trade Organization decided to indefinitely postpone its 12th Ministerial Conference, originally scheduled for this week (30 November to 3 December), due to travel constraints for many delegations coming from countries that had already imposed travel bans and other restrictions due to the new Omicron variant.  The 12th Ministerial was slated to take up a…

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