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Center for Law and the Public’s Health


  Universal Declaration of Human Rights
On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Drafted in the wake of the horrors of World War II, Article I of the Declaration begins, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." Twenty-nine articles follow, each stating basic rights to which every person is entitled.


International Covenant on Economic, Social,
and Cultural Rights

The ICESCR begins by setting forth the right to self-determination and continues to list an array of rights in a variety of categories. The document recognizes a right to education, a minimum wage, and healthy working conditions. In addition, the Covenant asserts the right to own intellectual property and to enjoy the fruits of scientific progress.

  General Comment No. 14: The Right to the Highest Attainable
Standard of Health

In 2000, the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights issued a commentary to Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, which guarantees "the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health." In this comment, the Committee describes the elements of this right and notes the the close relationship between health and human rights.

  International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Comprised of 53 articles, the ICCPR sets forth a list of rights that would generally fall into the categories of ‘civil rights’ and ‘due process’ in the United States. Rights asserted in the ICCPR include a the rights to free speech, assembly, fair hearings, and freedom of movement. Article 7 guarantees that no person shall be subjected to scientific or medical experimentation against his will.

  University of Minnesota Human Rights Library
The University of Minnesota has long maintained an extensive collection of human rights documents, treaties, bibliographies, and other resources. In addition, the site serves as a gateway, containing a list of over 3,600 web links.

  François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights Headquartered at the Harvard School of Public Health, the FXB Center takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of health and human rights. Among their many activities and programs is their journal, Health and Human Rights.

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