Mapping Basic Subsistence Rights in Post-Disaster Scenarios

Authored by: Marco Inglese

Routledge Handbook of Human Rights and Disasters

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138069916
eBook ISBN: 9781315115238
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter depicts the concept of basic subsistence rights in the aftermath of a disaster, be it natural or man-made. Adopting a top-down methodology and lacking a common definition as well as a general understanding of what basic subsistence rights are, we will seek to identify them or, better, to pick them up from universal instruments. In doing so, we will in particular make reference to the rights to health, water, and food. Then, we will analyze the ILC’s Draft Articles on the protection of persons in the event of disasters to assess whether this instrument provides for a categorization of basic subsistence rights. In conclusion, we will argue that, despite the rapid and perhaps unrestrained proliferation of international instruments mentioning basic subsistence rights, a more precise and univocal definition of their scope is not present yet. However, the lack of this theoretical elaboration has not prevented States to fulfil their duties vis-à-vis victims of natural and human-made disaster

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