International Human Rights Framework to Disaster Management

37 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2018

See all articles by Edward Halle

Edward Halle

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Students

Date Written: November 20, 2018


In recent decades, there has been growing awareness of the relevance of international human rights law to protect, prevent, respond, recover and mitigate disasters. In many respects, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami marked a turning point in the international community’s views of disasters. Before the 2004 tsunami, disasters were primarily seen in terms of the need to mobilize rapid humanitarian aid, which usually entailed the prioritization of logistical and expertise personnel. A look at the international legal instruments dealing with disaster management shows that it has a complex link with human rights which necessitates striking a balance between public safety and individual rights. The digital age has also seen a revolution in every aspect of life including humanitarian actions, before, during and after a disaster, aimed at preventing, managing and mitigating the risks associated with disasters. This has created a complex link involving the flow of information and the rise of a new group of aid workers known as Digital Humanitarians. Despite all the new and positive promises offered by the digital age, the population still faces many challenges relating to ICT. Thus the continued articulation, application and integration of human rights into humanitarian aid and how humanitarians apply technology is consistently proving to be the correct pathway to render justice to victims. While disaster management is becoming more complex especially in the digital age there is a need for more attention in developing the best practices in applying a rights-based approach, before, during and after a disaster.

Keywords: Civil Protection, International Law, Human Rights, Digital Humanitarians, Legal Framework to Disaster Management, International Disaster Response Law, Principles of Humanitarian Assistance, Information in Disaster Management, Disaster Risk Response, International Humanitarian Law

Suggested Citation

Halle, Edward, International Human Rights Framework to Disaster Management (November 20, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Edward Halle (Contact Author)

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Students

500 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD Maryland 21201-1
United States
(410) 706-7214 (Phone)
(410) 706-4045 (Fax)


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