Right to health

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Protestors rally for the Right to Health in Pakistan

There is the idea that everyone has the right to a minimum standard of health. Some people have called this right to health. They said it is an economic, social, and cultural right. There are several international agreements which have included this idea. Some of these agreemenrs are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. There are still some discussions, as people do not fully agree on things like the exact definition of health. They also do not agree about what a minimum standard of health should be, and who should be responsible to ensure this right to health.

The Human Rights Measurement Initiative[1] measures the right to health for countries around the world, based on their level of income.[2]

Definition[change | change source]

There are different definitions of what health is:

  • The preamble of the consitution of the World Health Organisation defines it as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."[3] It says that the right to health is fullfilled, when the person enjoys the highest attainable standard of health. It also lists some examples, such as healthy child development, spreading medical knowledge among all people in the population, and a government providing social measures to provide adequate health.
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services." The declaration also talks about some extras, such as security in case of disability, and makes special mention of care given to those in motherhood or childhood.[4]
Romanian activists create a "25" using umbrellas, a reference to Article 25 of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights

References[change | change source]

  1. "Human Rights Measurement Initiative – The first global initiative to track the human rights performance of countries". humanrightsmeasurement.org. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  2. "Right to health - HRMI Rights Tracker". rightstracker.org. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  3. Constitution of the World Health Organization (PDF). Geneva: World Health Organization. 1948. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 March 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  4. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations, 1948, archived from the original on 3 July 2017, retrieved 29 June 2017

Other websites[change | change source]

Bibliography[change | change source]

  • Andrew Clapham, Mary Robinson (eds), Realizing the Right to Health, Zurich: rüffer & rub, 2009.
  • Bogumil Terminski, Selected Bibliography on Human Right to Health, Geneva: University of Geneva, 2013.
  • Judith Paula Asher, The Right to Health: A Resource Manual for Ngos, Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2010. I