International Health Regulations

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See also 'Pandemic Treaty' and World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR) (or Pandemic Treaty) were first adopted in 1969 and came into force in 2007, after being ratified by a sufficient number of Member States. This means that all countries that have ratified the IHR are obliged to implement them and report on their implementation to the WHO. The regulations were created to help prevent the international spread of diseases and improve global public health.

Writers and Methods

The World Health Organization (WHO) is responsible for the development and revision of the International Health Regulations (IHR). The IHR are developed through a process of consultation and negotiation among member states of WHO, as well as with other relevant stakeholders such as international organizations, experts, and nongovernmental organizations. It is not possible to identify specific individuals who wrote the IHR, as it is the work of a collaborative effort of many experts and stakeholders over time, rather than the work of a single author or group of authors. The IHR is a legally binding instrument for WHO member states, and their development and revision is done through a formal process, involving the participation and agreement of the member states.

National Implementation Examples

How IHR are implemented in Canada

In Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is the lead organization for implementing the IHR. Canada’s National IHR Focal Point Office, which is located within PHAC, coordinates the implementation of the IHR on behalf of the Government of Canada. IHR activities are a shared responsibility and as such, IHR implementation is supported by Canada’s Health Portfolio and other federal departments, and provincial and territorial governments.[1]


They have been revised several times, with the most recent revision taking place in 2005. The 2005 revision of the IHR expanded the scope of the regulations to include all infectious diseases, not just those of international concern, and placed new emphasis on the role of countries in detecting and reporting public health events. The IHR also established the legal framework for WHO's response to public health emergencies of international concern.


  1. Smallpox Eradication: One of the most notable successes of the WHO's International Health Regulations (IHR) was the eradication of smallpox in 1980. The IHR played a critical role in this effort by providing a framework for countries to report and respond to outbreaks of the disease. The coordinated global effort to eliminate smallpox was a major achievement in public health and demonstrated the effectiveness of the IHR in controlling the spread of infectious diseases.
  2. Control of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS): In 2003, the WHO used the IHR to help control the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The IHR provided a legal framework for countries to report cases of SARS and for the WHO to respond to the outbreak. The WHO's rapid response, in coordination with affected countries, helped to contain the spread of the virus and ultimately bring the outbreak under control.
  3. Control of Ebola Outbreak: In 2014, the WHO activated the IHR in response to the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. The IHR provided the framework for countries to report cases of the disease and for the WHO to coordinate an international response. Through the efforts of the WHO, together with the affected countries and other partners, the outbreak was brought under control in 2016. The IHR played a key role in the response and in preventing the further spread of the disease.


Recent criticisms include concerns The World Health Organization’s *Pandemic Treaty* will involve forced vaccination, quarantine, lockdowns, digital health certificates… countries that don’t obey will be punished.[2]


Some believe that current or future amendments to the International Health Regulations will pose an immediate threat to one's rights & one's country’s sovereignty, by redefining the status of the WHO.[3] Citing Amendments to the International HealthRegulations (2005) , the following concerns have been raised:

  1. Change the nature of the WHO from an advisory Organization that barely makes recommendations to a governing body is proclamations would be legally binding (Article 1)
  2. Greatly expand the scope of the IHRs to include scenarios that merrily have a potential to impact Public Health.
  3. seek to remove respect for dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of people. Article 3
  4. give the Director General of the WHO control over the means of production through an allocation plan for health products to require developed states parties to supply pandemic response products as directed. Article 13A
  5. Give the WHO the authority to require medical examination, proof of prophylaxis, proof of vaccine and to implement contact tracing, quarantine and treatment. Article 18
  6. Institute a system of global health certificates in digital or paper format, including test certificates, vaccine certificates, prophylaxis certificates, recovery certificates, passenger locator forms and a travellers health declaration. (articles at 10, 23, 24, 27, 28, 31, 35, 36 and 44 and Annexes 6, 7 and 8 )
  7. Redirect unspecified billions of dollars to the pharmaceutical hospital emergency industrial complex with her accountability. Article 44A
  8. Allow the disclosure of personal health data. Article 45
  9. Greatly expand the WHO's capacity to sensor what they consider to be misinformation and disinformation. Annex 1, page 36

And more.

2005 Amendments to IHRs

The 76th World Health Assembly is scheduled to occur from Sunday, May 21, 2023 to Tuesday, May 30.[3]

In order for the proposed amendments to be considered during the World Health Assembly, they must be submitted to the WHO at least four months in advance.
The IHRRC plans to submit these proposed amendments to the WHO by Sunday Jan 15, 2023.
The IHR are existing, legally binding international law. If the proposed amendments are presented to the world health assembly, they could be adopted by a simple majority of the 194 member nations.

See also

International Health Regulations (IHR)
Emergencies: Ten things you need to do to implement the International Health Regulations International Health Regulations: a major paradigm shift from 1969 to 2005
The new International Health Regulations: a revolutionary change in global health security


  1. 2005.html
  2. The World Health Organization’s *Pandemic Treaty* will involve forced vaccination, quarantine, lockdowns, digital health certificates… countries that don’t obey will be punished., Jan 25 2023,
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jan 20, 2023,