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Human Rights and the Right to Health

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Human Rights and the Right to Health Powered By Docstoc
					Human Rights and the Right
to Health
  Commissioner Winfred Lichuma
  Kenya National Commission on
  Human Rights
Human Rights
  Legal guarantees that protect individuals.
  Entitlements
  Freedoms
  They are birthrights of every individual
  They are enshrined in a set of internationally
   agreed legal and moral standards that get
   translated in domestic laws i.e. constitutions
  Rights are universal, inalienable, indivisible
   and they come with duties and responsibilities.
  States have the responsibility or duty to
   respect, protect and fulfil human rights
Characteristics of Human Rights
They are:
  Universal.
  Focus on inherent dignity and equal
   worth of all human beings.
  Indivisible and interdependent.
  Cannot be waived or taken away
  Protect individual and to some other
   extend groups.
Some Rights Guaranteed
  Rights are guaranteed to all human beings
   under international treaties without any
   discrimination on grounds of sex, race,
   language, political or other opinion, national or
   social origin etc.
  Right to life, freedom from slavery, equal
   protection of the law , right to nationality
  Right to the highest attainable standards of
   health, right to food, water, food, clean
   environment etc.
Hierarchy of Rights
    All rights are equally important
    Rights are indivisible and interdependent.
    No human being is inferior to any other.
    Economic, social and Cultural rights must be
     respected, protected and realized on equal
     footing with civil and political rights.
    Efforts should be made to realize all rights
     together allowing for prioritization as
     necessary in accordance with human rights
     principles.
Human Rights Obligations

  To respect-Not to interfere with their
   enjoyment.
  To protect-to take steps to ensure 3rd
   parties do not interfere with their
   enjoyment.
  To fulfil-to take steps to progressively to
   realize the right in question.
Link between Health and Human
Rights
  Violations or lack of attention to human rights
   can have serious health consequences.
  Health policies and programmes can promote
   or violate human rights in the ways they are
   designed and implemented.
  Taking steps to respect, protect and fulfil
   human rights can reduce vulnerability and the
   impact of ill health.
The Right to Health

  It requires governments and public
   authorities to put in place policies and
   action plans which will lead to available
   and accessible health care for all in the
   shortest possible time.
  Most authoritative interpretation of the
   right to health is outlined in article 12 of
   the ICESCR and its General Comment
   No. 14.
General Comment 14: Criteria to
evaluate the Right to health
    Availability-functioning public health and health and
     health-care facilities, goods and services as well as
     programmes have to be available in sufficient quantity.
    Accessibility- services must be accessible to everyone
     without discrimination.
    Acceptability-All health services and goods must
     respect medical ethics and be sensitive to gender. It
     must respect confidentiality.
    Quality-Health facilities, goods and services must be
     scientifically and medically appropriate and of good
     quality.
Principle of Freedom from
discrimination and Health
  Targets the vulnerable and marginalized in societies.
  Overt or implicit discrimination violates the
   fundamental human rights principles and always lies at
   the root of poor health status.
  Discrimination manifests itself in a complex variety
   ways for example violence against women.
  Preferential treatment in reasonable circumstances
   does not amount to discrimination.
  Public health practices are heavily burdened by the
   problem of inadvertent discrimination-mostly relying on
   assumptions.
Right to Health in the context of
Kenya.
   Kenya has ratified various international and
    regional instruments that provide the right to
    health and non discrimination. i.e . ICCPR,
    ICESCR, CRC, CEDAW, ICERD, and the
    African Charter among others.
   Economic, Social and Cultural Rights are not
    enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya.
   The Social determinants of health that are the
    current focus of WHO are constraining factors
    in Kenya’s attempts to realize the right to
    health such as the high poverty levels and
    high rates of unemployment.
Kenyan context cont…
    The right to health has suffered from chronic under-
     investment. Health system has been undermined and
     weakened and Kenya needs concerted measures to
     establish effective and inclusive health systems
     accessible to all.
    Kenya has to strife to keep to the health related goals
     it has committed itself to i.e. MDGs, UNGASS for
     children and HIV and AIDS, etc.
    The GOK has attempted to operationalize the
     commitments through various policies geared towards
     achieving broad based sustainable improvement in the
     welfare of Kenya. i.e. National Poverty Eradication
     Plan, the PRSP and the Vision 2030 e.t.c.
Emerging challenges

  Poverty and Hunger.
  Maternal death.
  Child mortality.
  Combating HIV and AIDS, Malaria and
   other diseases
  Environmental issues.
  Water and sanitation.
Conclusion
    Most laws and policies are outdated and require
     review.
    The waiver of maternity fees is a positive move.
    The government and other agencies should jointly
     work towards fulfilment of the right to health.
    The rights-based approach that will insist on
     participatory approach and empowerment will be the
     recommended model.
    We need to convince the 10th parliament that we must
     include ESCR into the constitution during the
     proposed review of the constitution.

				
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