Global Health Governance and the Contentious Politics of Human Rights: Mainstreaming the Right to Health for Public Health Advancement. - Stanford Journal of International Law

Global Health Governance and the Contentious Politics of Human Rights: Mainstreaming the Right to Health for Public Health Advancement.

By Stanford Journal of International Law

  • Release Date - Published: 2010-01-01
  • Book Genre: Law
  • Author: Stanford Journal of International Law
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Global Health Governance and the Contentious Politics of Human Rights: Mainstreaming the Right to Health for Public Health Advancement. Stanford Journal of International Law read online review & book description:

This Article traces the political history leading up to the World Health Organization's (WHO's) invocation of human rights as a normative framework for global health governance. With both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and WHO coming into existence in 1948, there was great initial promise that these two institutions would complement each other, with WHO--like the other specialized agencies of the United Nations (U.N.)--supporting human rights through all its activities. Yet in spite of this promise and early WHO support for advancing a human rights basis for its work, WHO intentionally neglected human rights discourse during crucial years in the development and implementation of the right to health, projecting itself as a technical organization above "legal rights." Where WHO neglected human rights, it did so to the detriment of public health. After twenty years shunning human rights discourse, WHO's public health leadership came to see human rights principles as a moral foundation upon which to frame WHO's Health for All strategy for primary health care. But it was too late. WHO's failure to shape the evolution of international human rights law--specifically, as laid out in Table 1 below, its actions in rights development and programmatic implementation during the transition from Article 25 of the 1948 UDHR to Article 12 of the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)--had already set into motion a course for health rights

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