• Social and political elements of inclusive practice

      Solas, John (2016-02-25)
      Laying claim to highest attainable standard of health is a human right. Support for this right is provided by the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations [UN], 1948) and a small number of legally binding international treaties. Among the most important of these for health are the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) (UN, 1966a) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (UN, 1989). Both these human rights treaties are legally binding for those countries that have ratified them. The ICESCR, in particular, articulates a comprehensive view of the obligations of state members of the United Nations (UN) to respect, protect and fulfil the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health – known as ‘the right to health’. It provides for both freedoms, such as the right to be free from non-consensual and uninformed medical treatment, medical experimentation, or forced HIV testing, as well as entitlements. These entitlements include the right to a system of protection on an equal basis for all, a system of prevention, treatments and control of disease, access to essential medicines, and services for sexual and reproductive health; and access to information and education about health for everyone. The Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ECSCR) monitors compliance with these provisions. Most states have ratified the ICESCR, and all but two (Somalia and the US) have ratified the CRC.