World Health Organization and International Health Regulations: The COVID-19 Case And Combating Epidemics Under International Law

Kaya I., Simsek G. E.

ISTANBUL HUKUK MECMUASI, vol.78, no.2, pp.983-1007, 2020 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 78 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/mecmua.2020.78.2.0023
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.983-1007
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


This article examines the World Health Organization (WHO), which plays the biggest role in combating the current COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO likewise provides for International Health Regulations as its most important normative regulatory measure for confirming and controlling pandemics. In the first section, the historical background leading to the establishment of the WHO and its organs and their powers that are established by the constitution is explained. In the second section of this article, the WHO's powers and responsibilities and the member states' obligations for pandemics are analyzed in the context of International Health Regulations. The last section considers some criticism leveled against the WHO for handling the current pandemic. It shall also discuss possible international legal consequences that may arise from the same.