International Humanitarian Law Amid Coronavirus
Date and time: May 15, 2020, 1 pm British Summer Time (UTC+1)
- Itay Epshtain, senior humanitarian law and policy consultant, Humanitarian Policy
- Emanuela-Chiara Gillard, associate fellow, International Law Program, Chatham House
- Chair: Chanu Peiris, program manager, International Law Program, Chatham House
In April 2020, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a global ceasefire in order for communities and states to focus efforts on responding to the coronavirus outbreak. However, in many regions affected by conflict, belligerent activity has continued to impede access to essential goods and services, exacerbating the suffering already experienced by civilians. These include the sieges and severe limitations on humanitarian action in Syria, the maritime restrictions in Yemen and the blockade of Gaza. Counter-terrorism measures taken by states against groups such as al-Qaida affiliates, Hamas or Hizbullah, compounded by measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, make the delivery of life-saving assistance even more challenging.
Against the backdrop of a growing health and economic emergency, the panelists will reflect on the state of humanitarian action and its relationship with international humanitarian law. What are the challenges to delivering relief? And how has COVID-19 impacted humanitarian action in conflict-ridden areas?
This event is for Chatham House members only. Not a member? Find out more.