The regionalisation of humanitarian action : the role of the OAS
Abel S. Knottnerus
Humanitarian action : global, regional and domestic legal responses
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2015
This chapter explores the humanitarian activities of the Organisation of American States (OAS) in the following manner: First, the changing role of the OAS in the spheare of regional security is explained. Secondly, the humanitarian agenda of the OAS in the context of armed conflicts and natural disasters is addressed. The regional institution has assumed dsome humanitarian tasks with regard to armed conflicts and its member states have proclaimed that the OAS should support the prevention of, and humanitarian response to, natural emergencies. However, its past and scheduled humanitarian activities also demonstrate that the authority of the OAS in the field of humanitarian action is subject to some significant limitations. Thirdly, the contributions of the Inter-American human rights system are discussed. Although the American states have not entrusted many humanitarian responsibilities to the OAS, they no longer have the absolute right to refuse humanitarian assistance in times of armed conflict or in the aftermath of a natural disaster.