Aslan Abashidze, Vladislav Malichenko

Executing International Legal Guarantees of Human Health Protection in Context of COVID-19 Pandemic

2022. No. 4. P. 155–183 [issue contents]
The coronavirus pandemic has become the biggest challenge to humanity over the whole century, exposing a number of systemic issues in the field of human health, both at the national and international levels. The catastrophic burden on health care facilities, coupled with the rapid growth in the need to provide health technologies, has increased the incidence of restrictions and discrimination in access to health care and medicines, especially in the developing world. The need to maintain balance between interests of healthcare technology companies and needs of the individual, is clearly seen since the unification of international legal mechanisms of intellectual property rights protection, and is being discussed with renewed interest in the context of the rapid growth of vaccines cost and other medicines for the treatment of COVID-19. In the article the authors analyze the international legal foundations of the right to the highest attainable level of health, formulated in acts of a universal and regional nature, as well as acts adopted by specialized international organizations. Particular attention is focused on analysis of vulnerable populations health protection, in the context of the growing negative consequences of the pandemic spread. Authors highlight the vulnerability of health workers to infectious pandemics, which increases potential barriers to ensuring the right to health among the entire population. The paper establishes the relationship between ensuring the protection of human health and the implementation of other fundamental human rights affected by the spread of the virus, such as the right to food, the right to water and sanitation. In the context of a significant increase in the problem of restricting access to health technologies, the article justifies need for rational application of norms in the field of intellectual property rights protection to ensure execution of the right to the highest attainable standard of health. The authors analyzed the international legal mechanisms aimed at expanding access to vital healthcare technologies in emergency situations. The article draws attention to the various forms of illegal activity, which dramatically rises under the influence of medical products shortages and significantly limits exercising human rights.
Citation: Abashidze A.Kh., Malichenko V.S. (2022) Executing International Legal Guarantees of Human Health Protection in Context of COVID-19 Pandemic. Law. Journal of the Higher School of Economics, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 155–183 (in Russ.) DOI:10.17323/2072- 8166.2022.4.155.183.
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