Right to health of refugees

careA focal point at this year's World Health Summit, which ended on October 11th, was refugee mental health. This issue is arguably more important now than ever in light of the ongoing refugee crisis, whereby individuals suffering psychological consequences as a result of living in a war-torn region are not receiving the mental health services they need. The M8 Alliance, which organized this Summit, included the right to health of refugees as one of their key action points in its declaration.

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10 October: World Mental Health Day

educationWorld Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

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September 28: Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion

legalSeptember 28 marks the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion. A group of United Nations human rights experts including the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health have called on States across the world to repeal restrictive abortion laws and policies, and all punitive measures and discriminatory barriers to access safe reproductive health services. 

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Neoliberalism versus the right to health

protestEarlier this year, the book Global Health, Human Rights and the Challenge of Neoliberal Policies was published by Cambridge University Press. This book, written by Audrey Chapman, has now been reviewed by the Health and Human Rights Journal. In this book, Chapman presents an in-depth examination of the conflicts between neoliberalism, the dominant economic policy framework in the world today, and the international human right to health.

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Access to medicines and international trade rules

potje pillenRecently, the report of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access To Medicines was published. Entitled 'Promoting innovation & access to health technologies', this report focuses on the discrepancies between international trade agreements such as the patent system, and international human rights law, which includes the right to health. In an Editorial in the Lancet, the editors praise the High-Level Panel for its strong focus on the use of human rights as the basis of policies on access to medicines. 

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Latest News

  • Health professionals unethical involvement in CIA torture programme

    complicityAccording to a new report released today by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), recently declassified documents confirm that the CIA conducted experimental research to test an unsupported hypothesis that torture could break the resistance of detainees and aid interrogation. It confirms that health workers were involved in illegal and unethical experiments to define the thresholds of pain and suffering of the torture subjects.

  • USA: Drug courts fail to provide adequeate treatment to drug users

    drugaddictionIn the report Neither Justice nor Treatment, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) states that drug courts in the United States struggle to meet medical and human rights standards. According to the researchers, drug courts – designed to reduce incarceration and provide necessary treatment – routinely fail to provide adequate, medically-sound treatment for substance use disorders.