Disaster Justice and Vulnerability in Disaster Ethics

June 7, 2016

Disaster Justice and Vulnerability in Disaster Ethics

On the 21-22nd of April, CEU hosted a conference under the same title – jointly organized by CELAB and the University of Debrecen – that also signalled the last stage of a four years long research and networking project.  The Disaster Bioethics project - COST Action IS1201 - attempted to bring together both practioners and researchers from a diversity of fields in order to reflect on ethical issues emerging from disaster management.

Following the welcome and opening remarks of Dónal O’Mathuna (chair of project) and Péter Kakuk (project member and local organizer), CELAB’s director, Professor Judit Sándor gave an introductory talk on the ethical and legal complexities that we could face in disaster situations. The five keynote talks had the common theme of vulnerability and justice in the global community that elaborated on a variety of topics. CEU’s professor, Nenad Dimitrievic discussed collective crime and the question of responsibility. Children’ rights were discussed in the context of the current refugee crises by Nevena Vuckovic Sahovic („Unaccompanied children outside of their country of origin”). Thomas Pogge talked about the issue of Global Justice from a philosophical perspective and Kristian Lauta approached the same question from a legal perspective.

All these detailed and interesting presentations generated intensive debates and discussions and the keynotes were video recorded: www.disasterbioethics.eu . Beyond or between these keynotes, the Disaster Bioethics project four working groups had been running their parallel workshops during the event that will provided some relevant inputs to international organizations, professional societies and NGO’s participating in global disaster response activities. As a concrete example for such a cooperative project output, we might mention Andreas Reis – head of the World Health Organization’s Global Health Ethics Unit - presentation that introduced the freshly published WHO’s Training Manual: Ethics in Epidemics, Emergencies and Disasters.

Recognizing their highly professional organization activities, CELAB would like say thanks for Krisztina Zsukotynszky and Enikő Demény for making things work silently and also for providing a relaxing working environment for the project members and for the nearly hundred scholars who participated in this fruitful and successfully coordinated international conference.

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