This chapter considers the responsibility of states for preventing, responding to and rebuilding after natural or man-made disasters. An equal focus is the international law obligations that bind states in these circumstances. It argues that the three phases of the responsibility to protect can lend detail to state obligations in the event of disasters both domestically and with respect to the international community. It considers the responsibility to protect as a complement to the International Law Commission’s ‘Articles for the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters’ and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ International Disaster Response Law, Rules and Principles. Finally, the chapter examines the applicability of the emerging doctrine of ‘aggravated state responsibility’ when a state is unwilling or unable to provide disaster relief to its own citizens.
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