The Recognition of Health Rights in Constitutions on the African Continent: A Systematic Review
(2016) Vol. 24:1 African Journal of International and Comparative Law 156-171
17 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2016 Last revised: 31 Jul 2017
Date Written: January 31, 2014
This article provides an overview of the constitutional provisions pertaining to the right to health and health-related rights in the Constitutions of countries on the African continent. The discussion will be based on a systematic review of the Constitutions of States on the African continent. The Constitutions considered are divided into four categories based on the extent to which it makes provision for the right to health and health-related rights, as well as the scope thereof. The four categories are: Constitutions that make limited to no provision for the right to health or health-related rights; Constitutions that restrict the right to health and/or health-related rights to principles and objectives of State policy; Constitutions that do not provide for a right to health explicitly but provide for health-related rights; and finally, Constitutions that provide for a comprehensive right to health and health-related rights as well as measures to ensure the enforceability thereof. The objectives of this constitutional comparative analysis are modest, and do not advance any causal or normative claims. The primary contribution of this article is rather methodological in nature; providing a comprehensive, systematic overview of how, and to what extent, the right to health and health-related rights feature in Constitutions on the African continent. This is a valuable undertaking as human rights is generally regarded as the dominant rights discourse and ideology of our time and Constitutions as one of the main domestic instruments for its articulation.
Keywords: Right to Health; Health Rights; African Continent; Constitutional Law
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