Elaborating on Human Rights of the Infected and the Uninfected: From the Comparative and International Law Perspective

Amid the global outbreaks of epidemics, it has become a matter of global concern how to balance human rights of the infected and the uninfected at national and transnational levels. This paper first tries to show that the way the human rights are balanced is often misaligned by fear, stigma, or political motivations, rather than firmly rooted in the scientific approach. To that end, this paper presents a comparative analysis of how diseases laws in multiple OECD member states address the critical traits of contagious diseases, including mortality, acuity, communicability, and socio-economic impact. Expanding the perspective to international norms and practices, this paper observes a systematic failure that the economic or political motivations overshadow the vast positive externalities of containment strategies, undermine the human rights of both the infected and the uninfected, and aggravate the risk of catastrophic outcomes.