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International Human Rights Law and the Response to the covid-19 Pandemic

In: Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies
Author:
Sarah Joseph Professor of Law, Griffith Law School, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia sarah.joseph@griffith.edu.au

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Abstract

States have duties under Article 12(2)(c) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to prevent, control and treat covid-19. Implementation of these three obligations is analysed, taking account of countervailing human rights considerations. Regarding prevention, lockdowns designed to stop the spread of the virus are examined. Control measures are then discussed, namely transparency measures, quarantine, testing and tracing. The human rights compatibility of treatment measures, namely the provision of adequate medical and hospital care (or the failure to do so), are then examined. Finally, derogations from human rights treaties in times of pubic emergency are discussed.

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