Health and Human Rights: In Search of the Legal Dimension

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Abstract: – This paper explores the legal contours of the field of ‘health and human rights’ as a new and emerging field of human rights law. After an analysis of its conceptual foundations, it explains illustrates how health and human rights evolved from a phase of standard-setting to a field that was primarily addressed by public health experts, to a field that is haphazardly, but increasingly, addressed by legal scholars and practitioners. Subsequently, it briefly analyses the nature and scope of the relevant legal standards and, the practice of judicial and quasi-judicial international bodies, in particular in the context of the UN and the Council of Europe., and it concludes by exploring the legal perspectives of two important health and human rights-related topics: reproductive health, including the issue of abortion, and socio-economic health inequalities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-241
Number of pages29
JournalHuman Rights & International Legal Discourse
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • health and human rights

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