Health is a Human Right
Health is a Human Right!
The international community has long recognized the centrality of health, and identifies health—including its social, economic and cultural dimensions—as a basic human right. Below is a list of major international documents and laws where governments, including the United States, have recognized the human right to health. The People’s Health Movement unites concerned activists, academics and health workers since 2000 to press governments to fulfill their human rights commitments.
International Documents Recognizing and Reinforcing the Right to Health
- WHO Constitution (1946)
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
- Declaration of Alma Ata (1978)
- Millennial Development Goals (2000)
- UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health (2002)
- Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (2005)
- Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health (2011)
- Sustainable Development Goals
- Declaration of Astana (2018)
- Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (2019)
Resources and Analysis on Applications of International Human Rights Law for Particular Groups & Contexts
- Statement on COVID-19: Racial equity and racial equality must guide State action Presented by: United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent
- UN News PODCAST: ‘Entrepreneurs of intolerance’ compound COVID-19 racist backlash: In this special edition of our Lid Is On podcast, from UN News, we hear from independent UN human rights expert, Tendayi Achiume, who warns that apart from the coronavirus that’s destroying so many lives and transforming societies around the world, a virulent xenophobia and tide of racial hatred has also been unleashed, aided by what she calls “entrepreneurs of intolerance”. (19:44)
- COVID-19 and Indigenous peoples“We urge Member States and the international community to include the specific needs and priorities of indigenous peoples in addressing the global outbreak of COVID 19.“—Chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Anne Nuorgam.
- Human mobility and human rights in the COVID-19 pandemic: Principles of protection for migrants, refugees, and other displaced persons. This document was prepared under the auspices of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, Cornell University's Migration and Human Rights Program, and The New School's Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility.
- Lancet Migration Global Statement on Covid-19: 'Leaving No One Behind in the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Call for Urgent Global Action to Include Migrants & Refugees in the Covid-19 Response
- Allegheny County Council recognizes racism as ‘public health crisis’ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette May 6, 2020