After 25+ years, is the right to health (RTH) really a movement?

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Friday, 21 February 2020 17:27

Human rights: Food for an introspective, painful thought   ‘the right to health’


Human Rights Reader 517

1. What I have to say here pertains to a series of serious questions building up on me as an experienced human rights activist over the last 25 years. The questions mostly take a devil’s advocate stand and give only some very pointed, oversimplified answers-from-experience.


2. Is there really evidence for hope? (ify to me at this point)



3. Let me be clear, it s not that what we read in the literature so far has not forcefully asked some of these questions! But my bottom line point is: Do we, who are reading this, need to change what we do from next Monday morning on? This is what the present challenges call for. The need is for a massive HR learning campaign, because the need is to inspire hundreds of thousands of potential claim holders (and duty bearers!)


4. Yes, writing the Readers is one form of activism, but…(you fill the blank) The fact that our orbit is the academic/intellectual one is our Achilles heel. Do I need to say more? I do use plain language and have consciously moved away from an academic format and am not bothered with precise references other than giving credit to those I quote. I want to believe that I perhaps reach a higher percentage of those involved in everyday development praxis…].


5. I apologize if my views here are a bit somber and more than a bit skeptical. But, coming from a political animal, my bottom line is as per the above.


Claudio Schuftan, Ho Chi Minh City

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-Beware: Advocating for the right to health care (RTHC) is already a tall order, but we actually need to go for the achievement of the RTH encompassing a much wider scope. Therefore, consider: The capacity of claim holders to identify and take charge of the structural determinants of health and nutrition is the first step in the progressive realization of these rights.


Note: I am the first to recognize that the Human Rights Readers are often repetitive. But not so in a mechanical way! Repetition in the Readers is rather through emphasizing the same point from different angles and perspectives. It is my experience that this is the way for HR concepts to ’sink-in’ so that you, the reader, begin using these concepts in your interaction with others. That, I see, is the ultimate goal in action-oriented HR learning. your social media marketing partner
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