Global Health Governance and the Contentious Politics of Human Rights: Mainstreaming the Right to Health for Public Health Advancement
Benjamin Mason Meier
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
December 1, 2010
Stanford Journal of International Law, Vol. 46, No. 1, 2010
This Article chronicles the evolution of a human right to health, focusing on WHO’s role in developing and implementing these legal obligations. Through legal analysis of treaty language and historical analysis of treaty travaux préparatoires (official preparatory documents) - complemented by archival research examining the internal communications of both the U.N. and WHO - this research examines WHO’s contributions to (and, in many cases, negligence of) the evolution of the right to health, analyzing how WHO has mediated the translation of health discourse into health rights. While other studies have examined the treaty language of the right to health, no previous study has examined the underlying organizational discourses that developed the basis for international treaty negotiations. Only through an analysis of these institutional communications in global health governance does it become possible to understand the seminal competing norms that culminated in the international legal language of the human right to health, highlighting the institutions underlying the successes and failures of those norms in achieving state obligations for health.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 50
Keywords: World Health Organization, global health policy, human rights
Date posted: April 22, 2011 ; Last revised: April 8, 2013
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