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Health and Human Rights

Sara L M Davis
In response to new scientific developments, UNAIDS, WHO, and global health financing institutions have joined together to promote a "fast-track" global scale-up of testing and treatment programs. They have set ambitious targets toward the goal of ending the three diseases by 2030. These numerical indicators, based on infectious disease modeling, can assist in measuring countries' progressive realization of the right to health. However, they only nominally reference the catastrophic impact that human rights abuses have on access to health services; they also do not measure the positive impact provided by law reform, legal aid, and other health-related human rights programs...
2015: Health and Human Rights
Gillian MacNaughton, Fiona Haigh, Mariah McGill, Konstantinos Koutsioumpas, Courtney Sprague
In 2010, Vermont adopted a new law embracing human rights principles as guidelines for health care reform, and in 2011, Vermont was the first state in the US to enact framework legislation to establish a universal health care system for all its residents. This article reports on the Vermont Workers' Center's human rights-based approach to universal health care and the extent to which this approach influenced decision makers. We found the following: (1) by learning about the human right to health care and sharing experiences, Vermonters were motivated to demand universal health care; (2) mobilizing Vermonters around a unified message on the right to health care made universal health care politically important; (3) using the human rights framework to assess new proposals enabled the Vermont Workers' Center to respond quickly to new policy proposals; (4) framing health care as a human right provided an alternative to the dominant economics-based discourse; and (5) while economics continues to dominate discussions among Vermont leaders, both legislative committees on health care use the human rights principles as guiding norms for health care reform...
2015: Health and Human Rights
Fanny Polet, Geraldine Malaise, Anuschka Mahieu, Eulalia Utrera, Jovita Montes, Rosalinda Tablang, Andrew Aytin, Erick Kambale, Sylvie Luzala, Daoud Al-Ghoul, Ranin Ahed Darkhawaja, Roxana Maria Rodriguez, Margarita Posada, Wim De Ceukelaire, Pol De Vos
Quantitative evaluations might be insufficient for measuring the impact of interventions promoting the right to health, particularly in their ability to contribute to a greater understanding of processes at the individual, community, and larger population level through which certain results are obtained. This paper discusses the application of a qualitative approach, the "most significant change" (MSC) methodology, in the Philippines, Palestine, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and El Salvador between 2010 and 2013 by Third World Health Aid and its partner organizations...
2015: Health and Human Rights
María-Luisa Escobar, Leonardo Cubillos, Roberto Iunes
This paper summarizes the background, methodology, results, and lessons learned from SaluDerecho, the Initiative on Priority Setting, Equity and Constitutional Mandates in Health. Originally facilitated by the capacity-building arm of the World Bank in 2010, it was implemented in Latin American countries and later expanded to other regions of the world. Segmentation, decentralization, and lack of coordination in health systems; weak information systems; stratified societies; and hierarchical power relations in participating countries are some of the characteristics that inhibit a human rights-based approach to health...
2015: Health and Human Rights
Maya Unnithan
The impact of human rights interventions on health outcomes is complex, multiple, and difficult to ascertain in the conventional sense of cause and effect. Existing approaches based on probable (experimental and statistical) conclusions from evidence are limited in their ability to capture the impact of rights-based transformations in health. This paper argues that a focus on plausible conclusions from evidence enables policy makers and researchers to take into account the effects of a co-occurrence of multiple factors connected with human rights, including the significant role of "context" and power...
2015: Health and Human Rights
Francisco Songane
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2015: Health and Human Rights
Julio Frenk, Octavio Gómez-Dantés
This paper discusses the use of an explicit ethical and human rights framework to guide a reform intended to provide universal and comprehensive social protection in health for all Mexicans, independently of their socio-economic status or labor market condition. This reform was designed, implemented, and evaluated by making use of what Michael Reich has identified as the three pillars of public policy: technical, political, and ethical. The use of evidence and political strategies in the design and negotiation of the Mexican health reform is briefly discussed in the first part of this paper...
2015: Health and Human Rights
Kate Gilmore, Luis Mora, Alfonso Barragues, Ida Krogh Mikkelsen
This paper argues that the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United Nations Human Rights Council can be a critical avenue for promoting a human rights-based approach to sexual and reproductive health and well-being due to its reliance on the principles of participation and accountability. Drawing on evidence from the UPR process since its inception in 2008, the paper analyzes the impact of the UPR in advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights. The evidence collected speaks to the political opportunity represented by the UPR at the country level to enhance government accountability and national dialogue on sexual and reproductive health and rights among key stakeholders...
2015: Health and Human Rights
Diederik Lohman, Joseph J Amon
Palliative care has been defined as care that is person-centered and attentive to physical symptoms and psychological, social, and existential distress in patients with severe or life-threatening illness. The identification of access to palliative care and pain treatment as a human rights issue first emerged among palliative care advocates, physicians, and lawyers in the 1990s, with a basis in the right to health and the right to be free from cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. Using a case study approach, we evaluate the results of a human rights-based advocacy approach on access to pain medicine and palliative care in India, Kenya, and Ukraine...
2015: Health and Human Rights
Jashodhara Dasgupt, Y K Sandhya, Samantha Lobis, Pravesh Verma, Marta Schaaf
My Health, My Voice is a human rights-based project that pilots the use of technology to monitor and display online data regarding informal payments for maternal health care in two districts of Uttar Pradesh, India. SAHAYOG, an organization based in Uttar Pradesh, partnered with a grassroots women's forum to inform women about their entitlements, to publicize the project, and to implement a toll-free hotline where women could report health providers' demands for informal payments. Between January 2012 and May 2013, the hotline recorded 873 reports of informal payment demands...
2015: Health and Human Rights
Jeannie Samuel, Ariel Frisancho
This paper discusses a human rights-based initiative developed in Puno, Peru, in which indigenous women seek to address problems with access and quality of care by monitoring their government-run health facilities. The evidence of impact presented here is based on a qualitative study of the rights-based monitoring initiative (53 key informant interviews in 2010-2011), corroborated by findings from a review of previous qualitative and quantitative assessments of the initiative. The research findings show that the citizen monitors are able to identify, document, and act on a set of persistent "everyday injustices" experienced by health care users...
2015: Health and Human Rights
Lindsey Dyer
This article provides the background to an analysis of the Human Rights in Healthcare Programme in England and Wales. Using evidence from source materials, summary publications, and official reports, it charts a small but important change in the relationship between health and human rights and shows how a small number of National Health Service organizations used a human rights-based approach (HRBA) to develop resources aimed at improving the quality of health services and health outcomes. Through a case study of one participating organization, it examines the development of approaches to measuring the outcomes and impacts of HRBAs...
2015: Health and Human Rights
Rebekah Thomas, Shyama Kuruvilla, Rachel Hinton, Steven L B Jensen, Veronica Magar, Flavia Bustreo
Global momentum around women's, children's, and adolescents' health, coupled with the ambitious and equalizing agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has exposed a tension between the need for comprehensive, multi-actor, rights-based approaches that seek to "close the gaps" and a growing economic and political imperative to demonstrate efficiency, effectiveness, and returns on specific investments. To address this challenge, this paper proposes a framework to measure "results" in a way that offers a more nuanced understanding of the impact of human rights-based approaches and their complexity, as well as their contextual, multi-sectoral, and evolving nature...
2015: Health and Human Rights
Paul Hunt, Alicia Ely Yamin, Flavia Bustreo
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2015: Health and Human Rights
Joseph Amon, Margaret Wurth, Megan McLemore
Between October 2011 and September 2013, we conducted research on the use, by police and/or prosecutors, of condom possession as evidence of intent to engage in prostitution-related offenses. We studied the practice in five large, geographically diverse cities in the U.S. To facilitate our advocacy on this issue, conducted concurrent to and following our research, we developed an advocacy framework consisting of six dimensions: (1) raising awareness, (2) building and engaging coalitions, (3) framing debate, (4) securing rhetorical commitments, (5) reforming law and policy, and (6) changing practice...
2015: Health and Human Rights
Matthew Kavanagh, Jennifer Cohn, Lynette Mabote, Benjamin Mason Meier, Brian Williams, Asia Russell, Kenly Sikwese, Brook Baker
Recent years have seen significant advances in the science of using antiretroviral medicines (ARVs) to fight HIV. Where not long ago ARVs were used late in disease to prevent sick people from dying, today people living with HIV can use ARVs to achieve viral suppression early in the course of disease. This article reviews the mounting new scientific evidence of major clinical and prevention ARV benefits. This has changed the logic of the AIDS response, eliminating competition between "treatment" and "prevention" and encouraging early initiation of treatment for individual and public health benefit...
2015: Health and Human Rights
Gillian MacNaughton
Two decades ago, Lawrence Gostin and Jonathan Mann developed a methodology for human rights impact assessment (HRIA) of proposed public health policies. This article looks back over the last 20 years to examine the development of HRIA in the health field and consider the progress that has been made since Gostin and Mann published their pioneering article. Health-related HRIA has advanced substantially in three ways. First, the content of the right to health has been delineated in greater detail through domestic and international laws and policies...
2015: Health and Human Rights
Audrey Chapman
Human rights, including the right to health, are grounded in protecting and promoting human dignity. Although commitment to human dignity is a widely shared value, the precise meaning and requirements behind the term are elusive. It is also unclear as to how a commitment to human dignity translates into specific human rights, such as the right to the highest attainable standard of health, and delineates their scope and obligations. The resulting lack of clarity about the foundations of and justification for the right to health has been problematic in a number of ways...
2015: Health and Human Rights
Jerome Singh
Following the demise of apartheid, human rights in South Africa are now constitutionally enshrined.The right to health in South Africa's Constitution has been credited with transforming the lives of millions of people by triggering programmatic reforms in HIV treatment and the prevention of mother to child transmission (MTCT) of HIV.However, a constitutionally enshrined right to health offers no guarantee that clinical trial participants will enjoy post-trial access to beneficial interventions. Using access to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in South Africa as an example, this paper argues that adherence to bioethics norms could realize the right to health for trial participants following the end of a clinical trial...
2015: Health and Human Rights
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