Legal Barriers to Humanitarian Intervention in Natural Disasters: When a natural disaster strikes, local governments often require immediate assistance in the form of external domestic and foreign humanitarian aid. Most jurisdictions can trigger emergency legislation, such as a declaration of calamity, to lower legal constraints and facilitate the deployment of aid. This report aims to help prepare humanitarian organizations (HOs) prior to humanitarian intervention in a natural disaster as well as serve as a guide to governments and the judiciary in developing laws, policies and regulations to address the legal challenges facing health intervention during disaster relief. It examines the legal barriers to the deployment of medical personnel and the movement of controlled substances in the context of two case studies: (i) a potential catastrophic earthquake in British Columbia (BC), Canada; and, (ii) a retrospective analysis of the 2015 Nepal earthquake (report available here).
By Nicole Cvercko, Anna Jeffery, Meghan Blom, and Roojin Habibi.