Biosurveillance, Human Rights, and the Zombie Plague

Global Change, Peace & Security

Author/s (editor/s):

Jeremy Youde

Publication year:

2012

Publication type:

Journal article

Find this publication at:
Taylor & Francis

Jeremy Youde, ‘Biosurveillance, Human Rights, and the Zombie Plague’, Global Change, Peace & Security, 24(1) 2012: 83‒93.

The International Health Regulations (2005) gave the World Health Organization a central role in collecting biosurveillance data and explicitly recognised the importance of human rights for the first time. Human rights and biosurveillance have a complicated relationship with one another though. Surveillance systems are necessary in order to arrest the spread of infectious disease outbreaks, but these same surveillance systems can be used in discriminatory ways. Is some sort of resolution or detente possible? This article investigates the role of the World Health Organization in implementing these potentially competing imperatives contained within the International Health Regulations (2005). To understand this relationship, it examines how the World Health Organization would implement the International Health Regulations in case of an international zombie outbreak.

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