The Global Institute for Health and Human Rights aims to facilitate a deeper understanding of the intersection between health and human rights, with concentration on reproductive health, Maternal and child care, HIV/AIDS prevention and Harm Reduction to develop innovative solutions to contemporary challenges in this arena through research, education, policy, advocacy and development.
The connection between and importance of health and human rights is undeniable, yet challenges to their realization remain. The concept of health as a human right is not widely accepted, even among many ministries, secretariats of health, civil society, and organizations representing the interests of the most vulnerable. There is insufficient collaboration between individuals working in the field of medicine and those working from a legal or policy perspective to protect human rights, and little understanding of how their work is linked. There are persistent human rights violations world-wide with respect to health, and inadequate protection of health leaves people without the ability to fulfill their other basic rights. To meaningfully promote health and human rights their connection must be widely accepted and understood, and there must be collective support of their universal protection.
The challenge to universal enjoyment of health as a human right is complex and multi-faceted. It is related to politics and policy, and to an intricate local, regional and international legal framework. It comes from inequalities and prejudices with respect to gender, race, sexuality, and culture. It relates to resource allocation and wealth disparities, and to the rate of development in countries throughout the world. It is closely connected to crime and punishment, and to international relations and world conflict. And there are, of course, important questions of ethics and moral responsibility. Addressing this challenge will require and equally complex and multi-faceted approach, through cooperation and collaboration across fields such as law, medicine, public health, philosophy, sociology, social welfare, psychology, political science, criminal justice, public administration, urban planning, women’s studies and more.