Understanding the Conflicts between the Trips Agreement and Human Right to Health
9 (6) Journal of World Investment and Trade (2008), 551-570
Posted: 10 Nov 2008 Last revised: 16 Dec 2017
Date Written: November 7, 2008
This paper analyses the relationship between the agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the human right to health. The paper shows that the TRIPS agreement is in conflict with the human right to health as contained in human rights treaties such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The paper also discusses the limitations of the flexibilities in the TRIPS agreement in safeguarding the human right to health. The WTO member countries have taken steps in order to mitigate the adverse impact that the TRIPS agreement may have on human right to health. However, the paper discusses the limitations of these measures and shows that notwithstanding their limited significance, these measures may not be adequately effective in enabling countries to promote, protect and fulfill the human right to health.
Keywords: TRIPS, human rights, right to health, TRIPS flexibilities.
JEL Classification: F02
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation