Facing the Human Rights Challenge of Prisoners’ and Detainees’ Hunger Strikes at the Domestic Level: Guidance for Policy-Makers, Government Officials, and Legal Advisors in the Management of Hunger Strikes

49 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2019

See all articles by Cochav Elkayam-Levy

Cochav Elkayam-Levy

Penn Carey Law, University of Pennsylvania ; The Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations, Hebrew Univeristy ; Lauder School of Government, Reichman University

Date Written: September 10, 2015

Abstract

Prisoners’ hunger strikes and the issue of force-feeding have become a matter of concern for many Western countries. The widespread and repeated nature of this situation, as well as its influence on prisoners’ and detainees’ fundamental rights, have troubled human rights scholars, governments, and international institutions and tribunals. The conflict generally revolves around the set of rights protecting prisoners and detainees who freely choose to hunger strike — and put their lives in danger — and the duties of states to secure the right to life and health of persons under their custody. Though their roles are not often discussed, in practice, policymakers and various state officials are faced with serious complexities around the management of hunger strikes and have a critical part in their resolution. This article provides an in-depth analysis and a critical examination of international human rights norms that govern hunger strike situations and assesses their application in domestic settings. Based on this analysis, the article offers practical recommendations and guidance for state officials to enhance the protection of this distinct group of persons and to assure the development of human rights-based national policies.

Keywords: human rights, prisoners rights, hunger strikes, force-feeding

Suggested Citation

Elkayam-Levy, Cochav, Facing the Human Rights Challenge of Prisoners’ and Detainees’ Hunger Strikes at the Domestic Level: Guidance for Policy-Makers, Government Officials, and Legal Advisors in the Management of Hunger Strikes (September 10, 2015). Harvard International Law Journal, Vol. 57, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3458013

Cochav Elkayam-Levy (Contact Author)

Penn Carey Law, University of Pennsylvania ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
University of Pennsylvania Carey School of Law
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

The Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations, Hebrew Univeristy ( email )

Jerusalem
Israel

Lauder School of Government, Reichman University ( email )

Israel

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