Is the right to health compatible with sustainability?

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“One of the fundamental human rights is the right of every individual to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, which we simplify to ‘HASH’ [1]. The HASH right was first articulated in the preamble to the WHO Constitution (1946) [2]. It appears in Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) (1966) [3]; and occurs in various human rights treaties (cf [4]).

Fully realizing all human rights immediately and completely is impossible; and that is why the right to HASH is supported by the notion of progressive realisation (cf; ICESCR Article 2(1)[3][3]) [5]. That is, States have an obligation to take steps towards the progressive realisation of the right, with the result that over a period of time HASH, ideally, would be fully realised for each individual in the world [3]. Furthermore, economically developed states have an obligation which extends beyond their borders to progressively support less well developed states in achieving the vision [6].”

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Authors: Daniel D. Reidpath, Sofia Gruskin, Pascale Allotey
Published By: Journal of Global Health
Date: June 1, 2015
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