Non-Communicable Diseases and Human Rights: Global Synergies, Gaps and Opportunities

Posted: 23 Aug 2017

See all articles by Sofia Gruskin

Sofia Gruskin

University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine; University of Southern California Gould School of Law; Harvard School of Public Health

Laura Ferguson

University of Southern California - Program on Global Health and Human Ritghts

Daniel Tarantola

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Michael Hoffman

Brown University

Date Written: January 15, 2015

Abstract

The incorporation of human rights in health policy and programmes is known to strengthen responses to health problems and help address disparities created or exacerbated by illness yet this remains underexplored in relation to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Aiming to understand existing synergies and how they might be further strengthened, we assessed the extent to which human rights are considered in global NCD policies and strategies and the degree of attention given to NCDs by select United Nations human rights mechanisms. Across global NCD policies and strategies, rhetorical assertions regarding human rights appear more often than actionable statements, thus limiting their implementation and impact. Although no human rights treaty explicitly mentions NCDs, some human rights monitoring mechanisms have been paying increasing attention to NCDs. This provides important avenues for promoting the incorporation of human rights norms and standards into NCD responses as well as for accountability. Linking NCDs and human rights at the global level is critical for encouraging national-level action to promote better outcomes relating to both health and human rights. The post-2015 development agenda constitutes a key entry point for highlighting these synergies and strengthening opportunities for health and rights action at global, national and local levels.

Keywords: Non-Communicable Diseases, Human Rights, Policy, Accountability, Global

JEL Classification: 114, I118, K33

Suggested Citation

Gruskin, Sofia and Ferguson, Laura and Tarantola, Daniel and Hoffman, Michael, Non-Communicable Diseases and Human Rights: Global Synergies, Gaps and Opportunities (January 15, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2886028

Sofia Gruskin

University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine ( email )

2001 N. Soto Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

HOME PAGE: http://globalhealth.usc.edu/ghhr

University of Southern California Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Harvard School of Public Health ( email )

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States

Laura Ferguson (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Program on Global Health and Human Ritghts ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Daniel Tarantola

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Michael Hoffman

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

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