|Disaster Management Ethics - Trainer's Guide - 1st Edition (Disaster Management Training Programme, 104 p.)|
|TOPIC 5: Disaster declaration and response|
National sovereignty vs. human rights
Break into small discussion groups to consider the ethical concerns and questions presented here.
When a government or national leadership conceals a disaster or refuses to respond in a timely manner, the international disaster management community has to decide if they should offer support, wait until the government requests support, or even intervene with assistance. What criteria could guide such decisions? The examples of Ethiopia and Armenia can be offered to encourage discussion. Ask participants for examples (i.e. UN intervention in Iraq to protect Kurds after the Gulf war, Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Haiti).
National policies and/or government practices may conflict with international standards of human rights. Should disaster management personnel seek to be neutral and provide assistance to all parties or should they address the root causes of vulnerability and disaster which are often oppression and human rights violations? What are the benefits and consequences of each?