Noncommunicable Diseases and Human Rights: A Promising Synergy

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Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have finally emerged onto the global health and development agenda. Despite the increasingly important role human rights play in other areas of global health, their contribution to NCD prevention and control remains nascent.

The recently adopted Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013–2020 is an important step forward, but the lack of concrete attention to human rights is a missed opportunity.

With practical implications for policy development, priority setting, and strategic design, human rights offer a logical, robust set of norms and standards; define the legal obligations of governments; and provide accountability mechanisms that can be used to enhance current approaches to NCD prevention and control. Harnessing the power of human rights can strengthen action for NCDs at the local, national, and global levels.

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Authors: Sofia Gruskin, Laura Ferguson, Daniel Tarantola, Robert Beaglehole
Published By: American Journal of Public Health
Date: May 1, 2014
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