Health & Human Rights

In order to exercise a range of rights, individuals need a basic standard of health.  In many parts of the world, people suffer from debilitating diseases, widespread malnutrition, and deplorable public hygiene.  Although these issues can be readily addressed with enough support, too many governments show little concern about maintaining decent standards of health for all their citizens.

External Resources

Nepal: Dengue Surge Exposes Climate Risk

Nepali authorities should urgently bolster public health systems that struggled during a dengue fever outbreak in recent months.

Read More

Syria: Parties to Conflict Aggravate Cholera Epidemic

Turkish authorities are exacerbating an acute water crisis that is believed to have given rise to the deadly cholera outbreak spreading across Syria and into nearby countries.

Read More

Perspectives | Kazakhstan’s deeply flawed safety net

Kazakhstan’s main assistance program, Targeted Social Assistance, is supposed to meet this need, but recent Human Rights Watch research shows it is failing to protect many people in need.

Read More

US: California Should Enact Housing, Treatment Options That Work

A newly passed California measure proponents claim will address the needs of unhoused people is open to abuse and risks failing to provide people with needed housing and services.

Read More

Uzbekistan’s Proposed Medical Testing Law Violates Basic Rights

Uzbekistan’s Internal Ministry has proposed a regressive new law that would require police to conduct mandatory testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, as part of police raids on venues where “dangerous groups” gather or live as well as those suspected of having close contact with them.

Read More

Flood-Affected Women in Pakistan Need Urgent Help

Catastrophic floods have destroyed huge areas of Pakistan. Among the millions of severely affected people are at least 650,000 pregnant women and girls, 73,000 of whom are expected to deliver in the next month.

Read More

US Health Agency Undermines Equity in Covid-19 Policy

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has rolled out new Covid-19 guidelines that undermine the right to health in the United States and send a worrying signal that a leading health authority will no longer consider protecting marginalized groups from illness and death.

Read More

Europe Heatwaves Disastrous for Older People, People with Disabilities

Thousands of people have died as 21 countries across Europe endured unusually high temperatures amid an unprecedented and prolonged yet predictable heatwave last month. Older people and those with underlying medical conditions, such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, were particularly affected.

Read More

Racism Is Rampant in US Reproductive Health Care

Racism permeates every aspect of US life – so much so that women of color encounter racism when it comes to their sexual and reproductive health, a situation exacerbated by gender and class discrimination.

Read More

46 Congressmembers Urge US to Protect Child Farmworkers

This week, 46 members of the United States House of Representatives urged Labor Secretary Marty Walsh to issue new regulations to protect child farmworkers.

Read More

Reproductive Justice on the Frontlines of US Climate Action

Massive heatwaves in recent weeks have gripped and even shut down power in parts of the United States. Wildfires billow out smoke. Meanwhile, the coming hurricane season is predicted to be bad, as it has been in recent years. One underacknowledged threat from the climate crisis is its impact on the health of pregnant people and the developing fetus.

Read More

US: Abortion Access is a Human Right

Reproductive rights, including the right to access abortion, are grounded in internationally recognized human rights.

Read More

US Supreme Court Topples Roe v. Wade in a Blow to Rights

In a predicted but nonetheless stunning opinion issued today, the United States Supreme Court overturned the constitutional guarantee of abortion access in the United States, reversing half a century of court protection for this fundamental right.

Read More

Respect Rights in Monkeypox Response

(New York) – Governments should work with affected communities to promote accurate, non-stigmatizing information about monkeypox and make testing and treatment widely accessible, Human Rights Watch said today. As hundreds of cases are reported in Europe and North America, health authorities should draw on lessons from effective management in Africa, and prioritize global availability of vaccines, tests, and treatments.

Read More

Expiring Assistance Threatens Affordable Health Care in the US

Unless Congress acts soon, federal subsidies that help millions of people in the United States afford private health insurance purchased through a government-operated marketplace will expire at the end of this year.

Read More