25 Questions & Answers on Health & Human Rights
Health & Human Rights Publication Series, No. 1, July 2002
Produced by WHO Human Rights Strategy Unit
Technical Units
ISBN-13    9789241545693 ISBN-10    9241545690
Order Number    11500496
Price    CHF    10.00 / US$    12.00 Developing countries:    CHF    7.00
English     2002        32   pages
"Since the beginning of this millennium, the human rights movement has witnessed extraordinary developments in advancing the right to health, giving us an excellent opportunity to promote and protect the health of populations throughout the world."
Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General, WHO
Human rights violations such as discrimination or harmful traditional practices can have serious health consequences. Protecting human rights, however, can reduce vulnerability to and the impact of ill health. To acknowledge and spell out the linkages between health and human rights, the World Health Organization (WHO) has published '25 Questions and Answers on Health and Human Rights'. This is the first compilation of answers to key questions in an area, which lately has received added focus and attention. The booklet is intended as a practical guide to assist governments and others concerned in developing a human rights approach to public health work. The publication reflects the most current developments and trends in health and human rights. It discusses a number of issues related to the HIV/AIDS epidemic such as access to medicines, use of health status information and non-discrimination. Also covered are protection of health care workers and facilities and access to medical care during conflicts. Other relevant current issues covered in the booklet are the availability to all of the benefits of scientific progress and the obligation of states to assist those with fewer resources in tackling diseases of poverty. The 36-page booklet, divided into three sections, asks and answers such important questions as: ˇ What happens if the protection of public health necessitates the restriction of certain human rights (e.g. to control an outbreak of a lethal communicable disease)? ˇ How does globalization affect the promotion and protection of human rights ? ˇ How can poor countries with resource limitations be held to the same human rights standards as rich countries ? Poorly designed or implemented health programmes and policies can violate human rights. 25 Questions and Answers describes what a rights-based approach to health consists of: it pays attention to the most vulnerable population groups (for instance, children; ethnic religious minorities; refugees; the elderly and the disabled); it uses a gender perspective; it analyses data in order to detect discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity, religion, health status, etc.; it ensures participation of groups in health policies affecting them; it educates and keeps people informed on health issues and guarantees their right to privacy.
"Since the beginning of this millennium, we have seen extraordinary developments in advancing health as a human right. Human rights add value to our work on health development by enhancing the accountability of governments and empowering the most vulnerable. We hope that human rights will become an integral dimension of thinking and practice in public health globally"
Helena Nygren-Krug, Author; Health and Human Rights, WHO