Slovenia: The right to clean drinking water constitutionalized

legalThe Central European country of Slovenia has amended its constitution to make access to drinkable water a fundamental right for all citizens. The Parliament adopted an amendment to the Constitution that declares the country's abundant clean water supplies "a public good managed by the state" and "not a market commodity".

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International human rights and the mistreatment of women during childbirth

mum babyEven though there has been recent attention to the role that human rights experts can play in developing and applying human rights standards in the context of maternal mortality and morbidity, the issue of mistreatment during facility-based childbirth remains relatively inexplored. A recent systematic review of the scientific literature documented an extensive range of mistreatment to which women are subjected during childbirth. 

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The link between drug policy and access to medicines

morphineOn the Open Society Foundations website an explanatory article was published recently on the link between drug policies and access to medicines. The organization argues that drug control policies lean too heavily towards limiting access to medicines for which patients have a legitimate and urgent need. Especially access to opioid medicines, such as morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine, is of particular concern.

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Access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene in schools

protestThe good health, well-being, education and dignity of schoolchildren cannot be guaranteed without access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools. In a booklet published by the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, this issue is explored from a pan-European perspective.

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Australia: Controversial law amended

thumbs upMedical Doctors in Australia have forced the federal government to back down on controversial laws banning health practitioners from publicly revealing abuse and medical negligence in Australia’s offshore detention centres for refugees. Just days before the federal government was due to respond to a High Court challenge from the local organisation Doctors for Refugees, it has instead amended the Australian Border Force Act (2015) to exempt health professionals, including doctors, nurses, midwives, psychologists and others.

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Latest News

  • Human rights law and access to abortion

    legalThe recently published Human Rights Watch Q&A on Human Rights Law and Access to Abortion discusses abortion as a human rights issue and the health consequences of unsafe abortions. It also shows that restrictive abortion policies do not reduce the rate of unsafe abortions, and highlights the positions of UN experts and agencies on the criminalization of abortion.

  • Intellectual property rights and access to medicines

    arrestLast week, on 17 July, the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines took place at the UN headquarters in New York. Sub-titled "Advancing Health-Related SDGs through Policy Coherence", the panel came together during the UN High Political Forum on Sustainable Development. William New of the news service Intellectual Property Watch wrote a short report of this event.