Summary: 1. Introduction. – 2. International Legal Means of Protecting the Right to Health During an Armed Conflict. – 3. National Narratives Regarding Ensuring the Right to Health During the Armed Conflict and Their Practical Implementation in Ukraine. – 4. Protection of Medical Workers and Health Institutions: The Realities of Russian Aggression in Ukraine. – 5. Conclusions.
This article deals with the protection of the right of the civilian population and medical workers to health. The issue of rights violations arises in connection with the armed conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, which has been ongoing since 2014. On 24 February 2022, its second phase began, which has been characterised by a large-scale offensive by the Russian army. The hostilities are still ongoing, and some areas are temporarily occupied.
The aim of the present paper is to reveal the essence of the main international legal, and national means of protecting the right to health in a period of armed conflict.
Methods. A combination of general scientific and special scientific approaches was used, as well as a number of methods, namely: dialectical, comparative, analytical, synthetic, and complex methods and the method of generalisation.
The results of the study have proved that the existing system of regulatory and institutional means of protection of human rights to health, both at the international and national level, is not able to do this successfully.
Conclusions. The right to health in the current period of the armed conflict is limited legally and forcibly for those who stay in the rear by the state on whose territory the armed conflict continues. It is illegal when one of the parties to the conflict violates IHL norms. Despite the normative means of ensuring and protecting the right to health and a wide range of institutional protections established by the parties to the armed conflict – Ukraine and the Russian Federation – the existing system is unable to protect the right of civilians to health. First of all, this is due to the Russian Federation’s violation of the established IHL rules. At the same time, the lack of a quick and effective protection mechanism leads to the fact that civilians, and sometimes medical workers, increasingly feel defenceless against aggressors. Therefore, it seems that the world community should review the existing approaches and establish more effective means of protecting human rights, including the right to health.