Human rights are considered central to disaster management efforts. However, the concrete interrelationship remains somewhat ambiguous. Approached from a strictly legal point of view, human rights should apply to disaster situations in the same way as to any other social situation. Even then, special instruments, guidelines and reports are made in order to promote and clarify the application of human rights in disaster management in general, and disaster response in particular. In this chapter, I set out to describe the present situation for human rights and disasters. The chapter critically assesses the human rights sources, specifically addressing disaster situations, and discusses their applicability and status within law as well as disaster management.
Kristian Cedervall Lauta and Jens Elo Rytter
This paper investigates the protection of individuals’ lives against natural hazards under the European Convention on Human Rights. In 2008, the European Court of Human Rights decided to include natural hazards in a well-established doctrine developed to protect individuals from life-threatening industrial hazards, while allowing States an especially broad margin of appreciation with regard to natural hazards. Drawing on contemporary disaster theory, the article examines whether and to what extent the Court's distinction between natural and industrial hazards can be maintained. The article proposes an ‘all hazards’ approach to the protection of the right to life under Article 2 of the Convention.