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Human Rights and Public Health

Human Rights
Enrollment in this course is by invitation only

About This Course

The aim of this course is to introduce you to the relationship between human rights and public health. We start by addressing the human rights-based approach to health, as well as the inequality in the access to the right to health. The main issues today related to this topic and the major references and organizations who promote the right to health are also covered. Lastly, we analyse the case study of the AIDS pandemic.

Course Content

1. The relationship between public health and human rights

2. Human rights-based approach to health

3. Inequality in the access of the right to health

4. Main issues today

  a) Violations of human rights in health

  i) Overt or implicit discrimination in the delivery of health service

  ii) Forced treatments, procedures or institutionalizations

  iii) Disregard of individual legal capacities to make decisions

  b) Pharmaceuticals patents and medicine

  c) Sexual and reproductive health

  d) Mental health legislation

  e) Human genetic manipulation

5. Key references and organizations promoting the right to health

6.Case study: The AIDS pandemic


Lawrence O. Gostin, Zita Lazzarini - Human Rights and Public Health in the AIDS Pandemic - Oxford University Press, USA (1997)

Sofia Gruskin - Perspectives on Health and Human Rights (2005)

World Health Organization - Human Rights, Health and Poverty Reduction Strategies (Health and Human Rights Publication Series) (2009)

World Health Organization - Mental Health Legislation and Human Rights (2003)