Governing Disasters: Embracing Human Rights in a Multi-Level, Multi-Duty Bearer, Disaster Governance Landscape

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Governing Disasters: Embracing Human Rights in a Multi-Level, Multi-Duty Bearer, Disaster Governance Landscape


  • Lottie Lane Groningen Centre for Law and Governance, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
  • Marlies Hesselman Department of International Law, University of Groningen, The Netherlands


Abstract  International and national disaster governance faces multiple challenges given the large variety and amounts of resources, skills and expertise that adequate disaster response commands. Moreover, disasters do not necessarily respect territorial boundaries, or may overwhelm the capacity of any one nation. They may therefore need a truly collective, joint, or even global effort to be overcome. Not seldom, reducing disaster risks and responding to disasters as they occur requires a sustained, concerted and coordinated effort of a broad range of actors, both public and private, acting nationally and internationally, and across the full ‘disaster cycle’. Unfortunately, disaster governance is commonly characterized as patchy, fragmented and inadequate, leading to essential protection gaps for affected communities. In order to strengthen disaster governance, this article first aims to further conceptualize the practice and challenges of ‘disaster governance’, mostly through the lens of ‘Multi-Level Governance’. Secondly, it proposes that disaster governance will greatly benefit from relevant actors more firmly embracing human rights-based approaches, particularly in the context of so-called, emerging ‘multi-duty bearer human rights regimes’.


Keywords  disasters; human rights; human rights-based approaches; multi-duty bearer human rights regimes; multi-level governance; non-state actors


Full Text   PDF (free download)



Views: 1037 Downloads: 334


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/pag.v5i2.899