Right to health

The human right to the highest attainable standard of health

A women’s self help group in India

What does it mean to talk about the right to the highest attainable standard of health? How have our perceptions and our actions changed in the past few years? Paul Hunt, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to the highest attainable standard of health (2002-2008) shares his perspective. [Read more →]

Rights advocacy for indigenous populations in Cambodia

Cambodian mother and children in village

Ratanakiri Province in north-east Cambodia is home to seven indigenous ethnic groups living in scattered villages.  While health service delivery has improved, villagers do not always exercise their right to access the services.
Hok Sochanda and Mong Vichet from Health Unlimited are taking a rights advocacy approach to improving public health. [Read more →]

High impact litigation and access to abortion in Colombia

Social Protest, September 28th 2006

In 2006 abortion in Colombia was illegal. Colombia, however, was and is a party to international human rights conventions which are at odds with this law. The Women’s Link Worldwide (WLW) initiative launched legal action and a high profile campaign to highlight these inconsistencies with remarkable results: the law was overturned. Yet this alone was not enough. WLW stress how changes in law need to be accompanied by social mobilisation and strong accountability mechanisms to enforce the right to health in practice. [Read more →]

Social housing residents

Using human rights as a tool to stimulate change

Seven Towers high rise complex of flats in North Belfast, Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, housing conditions are leading to poor health for residents. A group of social housing residents campaigned for improved living conditions, better service delivery and accountable decision-making using human rights indicators and benchmarks. [Read more →]

Training health workers to be human rights advocates

AGHA training

In Uganda, the health system does not yet recognise stigma and discrimination as a human rights issue. Health professionals, knowingly and unknowingly, stigmatise and discriminate against people living with HIV. The Action Group for Health, Human Rights and HIV/AIDS (AGHA)’s Anti-Stigma Campaign unites health workers with communities to stop HIV and AIDS-related stigma. [Read more →]

Global Right to Health and Health Care Campaign

Anti-TRIPS and patents campaign, JSA, Karnatka

The People’s Health Movement has launched a Global Right to Health Care (RTHC) Campaign to document violations of health rights, present country level assessments of the right to health care, and advocate for the fulfillment of commitments to the right to health from the national to the global level. [Read more →]

Leprosy and human rights

Democratic Republic of Congo

People affected by leprosy have the same human rights as all people. In reality, the rights enshrined in United Nations’ conventions and international covenants remain unfulfilled for people affected by leprosy. Doug Soutar, of the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations tells us how, and makes some practical recommendations to overcome the situation. [Read more →]

Korsang: Cambodian drug users’ right to health

HIV+ Injection drug user being treated at Korsang

Drug users in Phnom Penh were once without self esteem, felt ashamed and worthless and had no concept that they were entitled to, and deserve, the same quality of life and health care as other Khmer citizens. Previously, no services existed for the adult drug using community and until Korsang was founded in 2004, there was no needle exchange programme serving adult intravenous drug users (IDUs). [Read more →]

Disability and human rights in Sri Lanka

Tailoring vocational training school

In Sri Lanka, many people with disabilities are unaware of their rights, even though Sri Lanka has good disability legislation and policy. N. G. Kamalawathie shares the story of how AKASA, an organisation of women with disabilities is raising awareness about rights and trying to use the law as a framework for change. [Read more →]

Sex work, rights and HIV

Sex workers protest in Phnom Penh Cambodia

The Paulo Longo Research Initiative (PLRI) is a new partnership between sex workers, academics and policy analysts to conduct and synthesise ethical and useful research on sex work in developing countries to improve policy and practice. Cheryl Overs and Kate Hawkins report on how sex workers’ human rights are abused and the programmes operating to help address the problems they face. [Read more →]


The Right to Health in Uruguay

People's Health Movement campaign

In 2007, the People’s Health Movement in Uruguay took a critical stance on the right to health and has been campaigning vigorously as part of the Global Campaign for the Right to Health. Fernando Borgia shares the experience. [Read more →]


One Response

  1. i support the right to health movement as a citizen of india i think people in rural areaas are not even aware that there is something called as rt to health. we need to make them aware and that can be achoieved through lots of awareness programmes and literacy camps. all the best.

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