FCGH – Establishing International Benchmarks for Accountability and Justiciability

FCGH – Establishing International Benchmarks for Accountability and Justiciability for the Right to Health

The distinction of Human Rights into two genres, to wit: Primary (‘Fundamental rights’) and Secondary (‘Economic, Social and Cultural {ECOSOC} rights‘), though basically theoretical, assumes a life of its own in jurisdictions where this dichotomy is entrenched as law or in a territory’s constitution. Fundamental Rights refer to such rights as the Right to Life, Freedom of Movement, Freedom of Association and mostly ‘political rights’; whilst ECOSOC rights refer to such rights as the right to education, housing and good environment, amongst others.

In most countries, Primary rights are justiciable (remedies for their violations can be secured through judicial processes); on the converse, Secondary rights are often non-justiciable (States cannot be compelled to provide these rights or ensure their enjoyment).

The right to health is often times classified as Secondary rights, and in some jurisdictions for some health issues, as tertiary. In a number of states, however, the right to Health is rendered non-justiciable. These rights are regarded as rights the state will accord its citizens whensoever the authorities consider their states have sufficient resources to accommodate such.

With the advent of increasingly invasive and modern technologies, the world has fast evolved into a global village where it takes mere hours for the most egregious of health situations to be transmitted and/or replicated from one corner of the globe to the other. It thus becomes imperative, for the health and safety of all wherever, that global minimum standards in accountability and justifiability for health rights be mutually agreed upon and enforced by all members of the international community.

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