In 2011, Professor Paul Hunt (UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, 2002-2008) was asked by Dr. Flavia Bustreo (Assistant Director-General, WHO) to lead a project on the evidence of impact of human rights on aspects of women’s and children’s health.
A multi-disciplinary Steering Group was established, including Dr Francisco Songane, former Minister of Health (Mozambique), and Dr Sujatha Roa, former Secretary of Health and Family Welfare (India). Researchers were commissioned and some 30 authors contributed to the publication. Last year, the monograph – Women’s and Children’s Health: Evidence of Impact of Human Rights – was launched at an event co-organised by WHO and the German Government and co-hosted by the Norwegian Government.
The monograph addresses the methodological challenges and examines the evidence of impact of a human rights-based approach on aspects of women’s and children’s health in four countries: Nepal, Brazil, Malawi and Italy. The publication concludes that applying human rights to women’s and children’s health policies, programmes and other interventions not only helps governments comply with their binding national and international obligations, but also contributes to improving the health of women and children.
One theme emerging from the research is the striking scarcity of research on, and evaluation of, the impact of a human rights-based approach on women’s and children’s health, and the vital importance of multidisciplinary and multi-method approaches to these issues.
In this seminar, Professor Hunt discussed Women’s and Children’s Health: Evidence of Impact of Human Rights (WHO, 2013).
Audio from Prof Hunt’s talk here:
Professor Hunt recently gave a TedX presentation at the University of Essex. You can watch this presentation here: