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Advancing health equity in the global marketplace: How human rights can help

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Listed:
  • Schrecker, Ted
  • Chapman, Audrey R.
  • Labonté, Ronald
  • De Vogli, Roberto

Abstract

The WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH) ascribed health disparities within and between countries to "a toxic combination of poor social policies and programmes, unfair economic arrangements, and bad politics." This article analyzes the relevance of the international human rights framework (IHRF) to the Commission's goal of reducing health disparities with reference to both social scientific and legal scholarship. We begin with an overview of the IHRF, demonstrating its potential as a challenge to the normative foundations of the emerging global economic order. We then survey the research literature on mechanisms to ensure accountability for realization of health-related rights, emphasizing the potential effectiveness of making human rights enforceable through the courts, and the special need for mechanisms to hold countries and international institutions accountable for obligations related to the human right to health. We conclude by identifying three key directions for further research, policy and advocacy: comparative human rights litigation, specifically the willingness of courts to address broad policy and budgetary issues; the conditions under which governments legislate or constitutionalize economic and social rights; and how rich, powerful countries affect economic and social rights outside their borders.

Suggested Citation

  • Schrecker, Ted & Chapman, Audrey R. & Labonté, Ronald & De Vogli, Roberto, 2010. "Advancing health equity in the global marketplace: How human rights can help," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(8), pages 1520-1526, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:71:y:2010:i:8:p:1520-1526
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Angus Deaton, 2006. "Global Patterns of Income and Health: Facts, Interpretations, and Policies," NBER Working Papers 12735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Dummer, Trevor J.B. & Cook, Ian G., 2008. "Health in China and India: A cross-country comparison in a context of rapid globalisation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 590-605, August.
    3. Williamson, John, 1993. "Democracy and the "Washington consensus"," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(8), pages 1329-1336, August.
    4. Finnemore, Martha & Sikkink, Kathryn, 1998. "International Norm Dynamics and Political Change," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 887-917, September.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:98:y:2004:i:02:p:243-260_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Eric Neumayer, 2006. "Do international human rights treaties improve respect for human rights?," Conferences on New Political Economy,in: Max Albert & Stefan Voigt & Dieter Schmidtchen (ed.), Conferences on New Political Economy, edition 1, volume 23, pages 69-104(36 Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
    7. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_wider_final_annual_lecture_all.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_wider_final_annual_lecture_all is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:soinre:v:138:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-017-1640-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Viladrich, Anahí, 2012. "Beyond welfare reform: Reframing undocumented immigrants’ entitlement to health care in the United States, a critical review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(6), pages 822-829.

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