The Right to Health and International Humanitarian Law: Parallel Application for Building Peaceful Societies and the Prevention of Armed Conflict

43 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2015

See all articles by Amrei Müller

Amrei Müller

Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin

Date Written: April 23, 2015

Abstract

Peace and health are mutually reinforcing. They overlap greatly within the wider circle of human well-being. To what extent do international human rights law (IHRL) (the right to health) and IHL oblige states to respect and promote this mutually beneficial relationship, and in particular, to prevent armed conflicts? After engaging with the question about the scope of application of the right to health and IHL in times of peace, the article shows that there are at least two areas where obligations under the right to health and relevant health-related obligations flowing from IHL can contribute to prevent international and non-international armed conflicts from occurring, and thereby to secure peace. First, IHL peacetime obligations can complement state obligations under the right to health to build an effective, integrated health system that provides quality health services to everyone without discrimination. Second, it is shown that in situations where an armed conflict is imminent, state obligations under the right to health encourage states to seek a peaceful solution. Overall, the analysis also highlights how the points of convergence of IHL and IHRL can be used to reinforce the rule of law in the area of health care already in times of peace.

Suggested Citation

Müller, Amrei, The Right to Health and International Humanitarian Law: Parallel Application for Building Peaceful Societies and the Prevention of Armed Conflict (April 23, 2015). Wisconsin International Law Journal, Vol. 32, No. 3, 2014, PluriCourts Research Paper No. 15-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2598098

Amrei Müller (Contact Author)

Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin ( email )

Belfield
University College Dublin
Dublin 4, Co Dublin
Ireland

HOME PAGE: http://people.ucd.ie/amrei.muller

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