Marrakesh Agreement Refugees

The Marrakesh Agreement is an international treaty designed to encourage trade between different nations across the globe. It was signed in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 1994 and is one of the pillars of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

However, there is a lesser-known aspect of the Marrakesh Agreement that focuses on the plight of refugees. The Marrakesh Agreement on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) includes provisions aimed at facilitating access to medicines for countries facing public health crises. This can include situations where large numbers of refugees are living in temporary shelters without adequate access to healthcare.

One of the key provisions of the Marrakesh Agreement in relation to refugees is the ability of countries to issue compulsory licenses for vital medicines. This means that a government can legally allow a company to manufacture and sell a patented drug without the permission of the patent holder in order to meet urgent public health needs.

This provision has been used in the past to provide access to life-saving medication during times of crisis. For example, during the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the early 2000s, countries such as Brazil and South Africa issued compulsory licenses to enable the production of cheaper generic versions of anti-retroviral drugs.

In addition to compulsory licenses, the Marrakesh Agreement also includes provisions that allow for the importation of patented medicines for humanitarian purposes. This can be particularly important for refugees, who may be displaced from their homes and unable to access essential medicines in their own countries.

Overall, the Marrakesh Agreement is an important tool in ensuring that refugees have access to the medicines they need to stay healthy. By allowing for compulsory licensing and the importation of essential medicines, countries are able to respond to public health crises and ensure that refugees are not left without access to lifesaving medication.