The Child’s Right to Health and the Courts
GLOBAL HEALTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS: LEGAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVES, J. Harrington & M. Stuttaford, eds., Routledge, Forthcoming
26 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2009 Last revised: 23 Aug 2011
Date Written: July 21, 2009
The child’s right to health has started to come into its own. In addition to being set out in a wide range of international and regional human rights instruments, the right is included in a growing number of national constitutions. This has resulted in it being the subject of ever-greater levels of judicial and quasi-judicial attention. However, the extent of the protection afforded to the child’s right to health by such bodies has by no means been uniform. This raises the question of how the approaches of such bodies have differed - and why. The chapter considers the way in which the child’s right to health has been interpreted and applied by a wide range of domestic courts and international judicial and quasi-judicial decision-making bodies. In doing so, the author identifies the role that has been, and may be, played by the courts in fleshing out the substantive content of the child’s right to health. In particular, the author focuses on the courts’ role in delineating the state’s duty to fulfill the right to health of children. Rather than simply focusing on how the courts have construed the obligations imposed by the child’s right to health, the author also identifies trends in the approaches adopted towards the child’s right to health by such bodies. What perceptions of children as right-holders and members of democratic society underpin such approaches?
Keywords: Right to Health, Children's Rights, Economic and Social Rights, Human Rights, Judicial Review, Right to Life, Constitutional Law, Inter-American Human Rights System, Constitutional Law, Colombia, Argentina, South Africa, Socio-Economic Rights
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