Some states deny their own citizens one of the most fundamental human rights: the right to food. Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, a leading scholar of human rights, discusses state food crimes, demonstrating how governments have introduced policies that cause malnutrition or starvation among their citizens and others for whom they are responsible. The book introduces the right to food and discusses historical cases (communist famines in Ukraine, China and Cambodia, and neglect of starvation by democratic states in Ireland, Germany and Canada). It then moves to a detailed discussion of four contemporary cases: starvation in North Korea, and malnutrition in Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and the West Bank and Gaza. These cases are then used to analyse international human rights law, sanctions and food aid, and civil and political rights as they pertain to the right to food. The book concludes by considering the need for a new international treaty on the right to food.
The world almost conquered famine. Until the 1980s, this scourge killed ten million people every decade, but by early 2000s mass starvation had all but disappeared. Today, famines are resurgent, driven by war, blockade, hostility to humanitarian principles and a volatile global economy. In Mass Starvation, world-renowned expert on humanitarian crisis and response Alex de Waal provides an authoritative history of modern famines: their causes, dimensions and why they ended. He analyses starvation as a crime, and breaks new ground in examining forced starvation as an instrument of genocide and war. Refuting the enduring but erroneous view that attributes famine to overpopulation and natural disaster, he shows how political decision or political failing is an essential element in every famine, while the spread of democracy and human rights, and the ending of wars, were major factors in the near-ending of this devastating phenomenon. Hard-hitting and deeply informed, Mass Starvation explains why man-made famine and the political decisions that could end it for good must once again become a top priority for the international community.
In Starvation as a Weapon Simone Hutter explores, within the framework of international law, the legality of using deliberate starvation as a means to an end. A close look at modern famine shows that, in many cases, food scarcity is not the product of coincidence, but a side effect or result of a deliberate strategy. Starvation is an efficient instrument when used to exert pressure and power, in times of war and peace. Simone Hutter demonstrates how international human rights law and international humanitarian law prevent deliberate starvation as a means of achieving political goals. She focuses on highly divisive and under-discussed instances in which states deploy deliberate starvation domestically, i.e. within the state's own national territory.
This unique work of reference traces the origins of the modern laws of warfare from the earliest times to the present day. Relying on written records from as far back as 2400 BCE, and using sources ranging from the Bible to Security Council Resolutions, the author pieces together the history of a subject which is almost as old as civilisation itself. The author shows that as long as humanity has been waging wars it has also been trying to find ways of legitimising different forms of combatants and ascribing rules to them, protecting civilians who are either inadvertently or intentionally caught up between them, and controlling the use of particular classes of weapons that may be used in times of conflict. Thus it is that this work is divided into three substantial parts: Volume 1 on the laws affecting combatants and captives; Volume 2 on civilians; and Volume 3 on the law of arms control. This third volume deals with the question of the control of weaponry, from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age. In doing so, it divides into two parts: namely, conventional weapons and Weapons of Mass Destruction. The examination of the history of arms control of conventional weapons begins with the control of weaponry so that one side could achieve a military advantage over another. This pattern, which only began to change centuries after the advent of gunpowder, was later supplemented by ideals to control types of conventional weapons because their impacts upon opposing combatants were inhumane. By the late twentieth century, the concerns over inhumane conventional weapons were being supplemented by concerns over indiscriminate conventional weapons. The focus on indiscriminate weapons, when applied on a mass scale, is the core of the second part of the volume. Weapons of Mass Destruction are primarily weapons of the latter half of the twentieth century. Although both chemical and biological warfare have long historical lineages, it was only after the Second World War that technological developments meant that these weapons could be applied to cause large-scale damage to non-combatants. thi is unlike uclear weapons, which are a truly modern invention. Despite being the newest Weapon of Mass Destruction, they are also the weapon of which most international attention has been applied, although the frameworks by which they were contained in the last century, appear inadequate to address the needs of current times.As a work of reference this set of three books is unrivalled, and will be of immense benefit to scholars and practitioners researching and advising on the laws of warfare. It also tells a story which throws fascinating new light on the history of international law and on the history of warfare itself.