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Human Rights in Global HealthRights-Based Governance for a Globalizing World$
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Benjamin Mason Meier and Lawrence O. Gostin

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190672676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190672676.001.0001

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Development of Human Rights through WHO

Development of Human Rights through WHO

(p.111) 5 Development of Human Rights through WHO
Human Rights in Global Health

Benjamin Mason Meier

Florian Kastler

Oxford University Press

With both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the World Health Organization (WHO) coming into existence in 1948, there was great postwar promise that these two institutions would complement each other, with WHO serving to support human rights in its health policies, programs, and practices. Yet WHO’s support for human rights would vary dramatically in the decades that followed: neglecting human rights law during crucial years in the development of health-related rights, implementing human rights as a foundation for its “Health for All” campaign, and operationalizing rights-based standards in the international response to HIV/AIDS. This chapter examines WHO’s evolving contributions to (and, in some cases, negligence of) the rights-based approach to health, with this history framing WHO’s enduring challenges in exercising its international legal authorities, collaborating with the United Nations human rights system, and mainstreaming human rights in the WHO Secretariat.

Keywords:   World Health Organization, international health governance, UDHR, Cold War, ICESCR, Health for All, Declaration of Alma-Ata, HIV/AIDS

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