Health for All: Justice for All – FCGH Manifesto 2012

Towards Health JusticeHealth for All: Justice for All
A Global Campaign for a Framework Convention on Global Health
(The FCGH Manifesto 2012)

• Vast inequalities in health between richer and poorer countries and within countries result in nearly 20 million avoidable deaths every year— and have for the past two decades. This represents 1 in every 3 deaths in the world. This social injustice is an assault on our values and shared humanity.

• These deaths are not sterile statistics. They are human lives extinguished. They are the anguish of a woman who dies in childbirth and her family’s grief, the pain of the sick child who suffers before dying young, the daily risks of the worker with no protection in the workplace, the constant struggle of the family without a toilet, running water, or enough food. And for millions, the cost of a life-saving surgery or medication may be a lifetime of poverty and debt.

• We insist on Health for All and Justice for All. We affirm that everyone has the right to the highest standard of physical and mental health. Achieving this human right demands committed governments, a powerful civil society, universal social protection, solidarity among people all over the world, and resources that exist but are denied to the poor.

The world fails nearly 20 million people every year, and fails billions more people whose lives are shattered by want and deprivation. To address at least a part of this injustice, we are launching a global campaign grounded in the human right to health, where governments assure the conditions in which everyone can be healthy.

Recognizing the strength of existing international law, yet how hard it is to utilize by the people who most need to assert their rights, we are calling for a Framework Convention on Global Health to give true force to international law and extend its reach into the communities where we live, to create the conditions for health and wellbeing for everyone.

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Towards a Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH)

Towards our right to healthTowards a Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH)

by Lawrence Gostin, Eric Friedman, Kent Buse, Attiya Waris, Moses Mulumba, Mayowa Joel, Lola Dare, Ames Dhaig & Devi Sridhar

Introduction
What will it take to eliminate the gross health inequities that continue to plague the world, the unconscionable health gaps between the rich and poor? The eyes of the global health community are focused on the post-2015 sustainable development goals, with the World Health Organization (WHO) advocating for universal health coverage. Adding healthy life expectancy as an overarching goal would capture the broader determinants of health and offer a richer integration of multiple sectors.1 Beyond improving health, the United Nations (UN) should focus on equity, human rights, inclusive participation and accountability.2  The stage is set for the post-2015 agenda to embrace global health with justice – improving healthy lives for everyone, with particular attention to marginalized communities.

The sustainable development agenda, however, cannot achieve global health with justice without robust global governance. We urge adoption of a legally binding global health treaty – a framework convention on global health grounded in the right to health. What are the purposes and content of a framework convention and how can such a treaty help to achieve global health with justice? And what steps need to be taken to galvanize support for its adoption and implementation? This perspectives paper seeks to spark international dialogue on a framework convention on global health and to explore the pathways to- wards a global health treaty.

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Pillars for progress on the right to health: Harnessing the potential of human rights through a FCGH

ProgressPillars for progress on the right to health: Harnessing the potential of human rights through a Framework Convention on Global Health

Eric Friedman & Lawrence Gostin
Original article: HHR Journal, June 2012

Abstract
Ever more constitutions incorporate the right to health, courts continue to expand their right to health jurisprudence, and communities and civil society increasingly turn to the right to health in their advocacy. Yet the right remains far from being realized. Even with steady progress on numerous fronts of global health, vast inequities at the global and national levels persist, and are responsible for millions of deaths annually. We propose a four-part approach to accelerating progress towards fulfilling the right to health: 1) national legal and policy reform, incorporating right to health obligations and principles including equity, participation, and accountability in designing, implementing, and monitoring the health sector, as well as an all-of-government approach in advancing the public’s health; 2) litigation, using creative legal strategies, enhanced training, and promotion of progressive judgments to increase courts’ effectiveness in advancing the right to health; 3) civil society and community engagement, empowering communities to understand and claim this right and building the capacity of right to health organizations; and 4) innovative global governance for health, strengthening World Health Organization leadership on health and human rights, further clarifying the international right to health, ensuring sustained and scalable development assistance, and conforming other international legal regimes (e.g., trade, intellectual property, and finance) to health and human rights norms. We offer specific steps to advance each of these areas, including how a new global health treaty, a Framework Convention on Global Health, could help construct these four pillars.

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