Zika Virus Infection in Brazil and Human Rights Obligations
International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 136(1), p. 105-110, Jan 2017
11 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 1, 2017
The February 2016 WHO declaration that congenital Zika syndrome [CZS] constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern reacted to the outbreak of CZS in Brazil. Public health emergencies can justify a spectrum of human rights responses, but in Brazil the emergency exposed prevailing inequities in the national health care system. The government’s urging to contain the syndrome, which is associated with microcephaly among newborns, is confounded by lack of reproductive health services in Brazil. Poor women in particular have little access to such health services. The emergency also illuminates the harm of restrictive abortion legislation, and potential violations of human rights regarding women’s health and under the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child and on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Suggestions have been proposed by which the government can remedy the widespread healthcare inequities among the national population that are instructive for other countries where CZS is prevalent.
Keywords: Children's Rights, Congenital Zika Syndrome, Disability Rights, Human Rights, Public Health, Women's Rights, Zika Infection
JEL Classification: J13, I18, K10, I10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation