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Some of the international  instruments relevant to the right to health  

This annex lists some of the international instruments that are relevant to the right to health. Section A contains general international human rights instruments. Section B contains international instruments that relate to specific groups. Section C contains context-specific instruments. Inevitably, there is some overlap between sections B and C. To avoid repetition, instruments applying to both groups and contexts are categorized according to the group (sect. B). Section D contains international conference outcomes and their follow-ups.

This annex is not comprehensive: there are other instruments that are relevant to the right to health. Further standards are referenced in WHO, 25 Questions and Answers on Health and Human Rights, Health and Human Rights Publications Series Issue 1, 2002; and G. Alfredsson and K. Tomaševski (eds.), A Thematic Guide to Documents on Health and Human Rights:

Global and Regional Standards Adopted by Intergovernmental Organizations, International Non-governmental Organizations, and Professional Associations (Nijhoff, 1998).

A. General international instruments

1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948); International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966); Constitution of the World Health Organization (1946); General Comment 14 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) on the right to health (2000).

B. International instruments relating to specific groups

2. Racial and ethnic groups: International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965); ILO Convention No. 169 (concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, 1989); Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (1992). 3. Women: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979); Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993); General Recommendation No. 14 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on female circumcision (1990); General Recommendation No. 19 of CEDAW on violence against women (1992); General Recommendation No. 24 of CEDAW on women and health (1999). 4. Children: Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989); ILO Convention No. 138 (concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, 1973); ILO Convention No. 182 (the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999); United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (1985); United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty (1990); Declaration on the Rights of the Child (1959). E/CN.4/2003/58 page 29 5. Migrant workers: International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (1990). 6. People with disabilities including mental disabilities: Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons (1975); Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (1993); Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and the Improvement of Mental Healthcare (1991); CESCR General Comment 5 on persons with disabilities (1994); Human Rights Committee General Comment 21 (1992). 7. Older people: United Nations Principles for Older Persons (1991); CESCR General Comment No. 6 on the economic, social and cultural rights of older persons (1995). 8. Refugees: Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951).

C. International instruments relating to specific contexts

9. Armed conflict: The Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (1949); the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of the Armed Forces at Sea (1949); the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (1949); the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War (1949); Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions relating to the Protection of Victims in International Armed Conflict (1977); Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (1977); Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict (1974); Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines (1980). 10. Occupational health and safety: ILO Convention No. 155 (Occupational Health and Safety Convention, 1981); ILO Convention No. 148 (Working Environment Convention, 1977); and several other ILO Conventions (e.g. Conventions Nos. 130, 152, 161, 164, 167, 170, 171, 176, 177 and 184). 11. Environmental health: Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (1989); Code of Practice on the International Transboundary Movement of Radioactive Waste (1990); Convention on Nuclear Safety (1994). 12. Administration of Justice: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, 1966); Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT, 1984); Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (1955); Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (1988); Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials (1979); Principles of Medical Ethics relevant to the Role of Health Personnel, particularly Physicians, in the Protection of Prisoners and Detainees against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1982). 13. Development: Declaration on the Right to Development (1986). E/CN.4/2003/58 page 30 14. Research, experimentation and genetics: Nürnberg Code (1947); ICCPR; Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights (1997); Declaration on the Use of Scientific and Technical Progress in the Interests of Peace and for the Benefits of Mankind (1975); General Comment No. 20 of the Human Rights Committee (1992). 15. Data Protection: Guidelines for the Regulation of Computerized Personal Data Files (1990); General Comment 16 of the Human Rights Committee (1988). 16. Nutritional Health: Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition (1974).

D. Some international conference outcomes, and their follow-ups, that relate to the right to health

17. Johannesburg Declaration and Plan of Implementation of the World Summit for Sustainable Development (2002). 18. Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development (2002). 19. Political Declaration and Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing of the Second World Assembly on Ageing (2002). 20. "A World Fit for Children" adopted by the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children (2002); Declaration and Plan of Action of the World Summit for Children (1990). 21. Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, "Global Crisis-Global Action", adopted by the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (2001). 22. Durban Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (2001). 23. United Nations Millennium Declaration, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly "Millennium Assembly of the United Nations" (2000). 24. Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women (1995) and its follow-up, Beijing Plus 5 (2000). 25. Rome Declaration on World Food Security and World Food Summit Plan of Action of the World Food Summit (1996) and its follow-up, Declaration of the World Food Summit: Five Years Later, International Alliance Against Hunger (2002). 26. Istanbul Declaration and the Habitat Agenda of the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) (1996), and the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium of the Special Session of the General Assembly for an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda (2001). E/CN.4/2003/58 page 31 27. Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development (1995) and its follow-up, Copenhagen Plus 5 (2000). 28. Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights (1993). 29. Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and Agenda 21 of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (1992). 30. Stockholm Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (1972). E/CN.4/2003/58 page 32

 

 
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