The first section opens with an introduction to the fundamental sources of contention around human rights, particularly as they apply to human health. This is followed by an outline of the status of key human rights treaties in the context of sexual and reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa. A human right to health is then contrasted with citizen entitlements. An integrated conception of sexual and reproductive health is set out in detail, tracing the development of reproductive health from a stand-alone health matter detached from sexual rights to conceptions where the two are viewed as necessarily joined.
- Human rights
- Citizen entitlements
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout
Purchases are for personal use onlyLearn about institutional subscriptions
Alison Bisset (ed), Blackstone’s International Human Rights Documents (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016); and, for example, with respect to UK law: Robert G. Lee (ed), Blackstone’s Statutes on Public Law & Human rights 2017–2018 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).
Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2001), available at: http://responsibilitytoprotect.org/ICISS%20Report-1.pdf
G.A. res. 217(III)A. The obvious gender bias in this article continues to attract considerable criticism. Charlesworth, H., C. Chinkin, and S. Wright. ‘Feminist Approaches to International Law,’ American Journal of International Law 85, no. 4(1991): 613–45, Chinkin, C. (1998) International Law and Human Rights, ed. T. Evans. Manchester, Manchester University Press, pp. 105–29, Robinson, F. (1998) The limits of a rights-based approach to international ethics, ed. T. Evans. Manchester, Manchester University Press, pp. 58–76.
P. Kandela, ‘Medical Journals and Human rights,’ The Lancet, Vol. 352, Supplement 2 (October 1998), pp. s7–s11.
R. Smith, H. Hiatt and D. Bertwick, British Medical Journal (Clinical Research), 23 Vol. 318 (7178), January 1999, pp. 248–51.
Plant, R. (1989) Can there be a right to health care? Southampton, Institute of Health Policy Studies, p. 16.
Beauchamp, T. L. (1991) The Right to Health Care in a Capitalist Democracy, ed. T. J. Bole, and W. B. Bondeson. London, Klewer, pp. 53–81, Cranston, M. “Are There Any Human rights?” Daedalus 112, no. 4(1983): 1–18, Cranston, M. What Are Human rights? London: Bodley Head, 1973, Hall, M. A. “The Scope and Limits of Public Health Law.” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 46, no. 3(2003): 199–208, Plant, R. (1989) Can there be a right to health care? Southampton, Institute of Health Policy Studies, p. 16.
Plant, R. (1989) Can there be a right to health care? Southampton, Institute of Health Policy Studies, p. 16.
Jones, C. Global Justice: Defending Cosmopolitanism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).
J. J. Tilley, ‘Cultural Relativism,’ Human rights Quarterly 22(2) (2000), pp. 501–47.
Henry Shue, Basic Rights: Subsistence, Affluence, and US Foreign Policy. 2nd ed. (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1996).
R. Plant, Can there be a right to health care? Southampton, Institute of Health Policy Studies, (1989), p. 16.
Henry Shue, op cit.
UN Doc. E/C.12/1992/2, p. 83, cited in David Beetham, ‘What Future for Economic and Social Rights?’ Political Studies, Vol. XLIII, Special Issue (1995), p. 41.
Nana Poku and Jesper Sunderwall, ‘Political responsibility and global health,’ Third World Quarterly, 04 March 2018, Vol. 39(3), pp. 471–486.
Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp and Kethryn Sykkink (eds), The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995); Alexander Betts and Phil Orchard (eds), Implementation and World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). See also: David Fidler, ‘The globalization of public health: the first 100 years of international health diplomacy,’ Bulletin of the World Health Organization Vol. 79, Issue 9, pp. 842–849; See also the special edition of Health and Policy on Health and Foreign Policy, in Vol. 85, Issue 3, March 2007.
International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect, available at: http://responsibilitytoprotect.org
Millennium Development Goals 3–6: promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; and combat HIV/AIDS , malaria and other diseases.
Nana Poku and Jim Whitman, ‘The Millennium Development Goals and Development after 2015,’ in Nana Poku and Jim Whitman (eds), The Millennium Development Goals: Challenges, Prospects and Opportunities (Abingdon: Routledge, 2014), p. 183.
Jennifer Brower and Peter Chalk, The global threat of new and reemerging infectious diseases: reconciling US national security and public health policy (Santa Monica: Rand Corporation, 2003).
Ellen ‘T Hoen, ‘TRIPS, pharmaceutical patents, and access to essential medicines: A long way from Seattle to Doha,’ Chicago Journal of International Law, Spring 2002, Vol. 3(1), p. 31.
The World Bank, http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/universalhealthcoverage
The United Nations Millennium Declaration, available at: https://www.un.org/millennium/declaration/ares552e.htm; The Universal Declaration of Human rights, available at: https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html
Christopher A. Tait et al., ‘Can the health effects of widely-held societal norms be evaluated? An analysis of the United Nations convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (UN-CEDAW),’ BMC Public Health (2019), 19: 279. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6607-6
A. Palmer et al., ‘Does ratification of human-rights treaties have effects on population health?’ Lancet (June 1992), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60231-2
Jody Heymann et al., ‘Constitutional rights to health, public health and medical care: The status of health protections in 191 countries,’ Global Public Health, 8: 6 (2013), p. 651.
See UHC2030, at uhc2030.org
Ana Ayala and Benjamin Mason Meier, ‘Implications of food and nutrition insecurity: A human rights approach to the health,’ Public Health Reviews, Vol. 38 (10), (2017).
‘Everyone has the right of access to preventive health care and the right to benefit from medical treatment under the conditions established by national laws and practices. A high level of human health protection shall be ensured in the definition and implementation of all Union policies and activities.’ Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, available at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf
Tamara K. Hervey, ‘We Don’t See a Connection: The “Right to Health” in the EU Charter and European Social Charter,’ in Gráinne de Búrca, Bruno de Witte, and Larissa Ogertschnig (eds), Social Rights in Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 325.
Pavlos Eleftheriadis, ‘A Right to Health Care,’ The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 40(2) (2012), pp. 268–85.
Ryder Mckeown, ‘Norm Regress and the Slow Death of the Torture Norm,’ International Relations, Vol. 23, 1 (March 2009), pp. 5–25.
Alicia Ely Yamin, ‘Will We Take Suffering Seriously? Reflections on What Applying a Human rights Framework to Health Means and Why We Should Care,’ Health and Human Rights 10(1), (2008), p. 50.
L. B. Pizzarossa and K. Perehudoff, ‘Global Survey of National Constitutions: Mapping Constitutional Commitments to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights,’ Health and Human Rights, 19(2) (2017), pp. 279–293.
Jane Cottingham et al., ‘Using human rights for sexual and reproductive health: Improving legal and regulatory frameworks,’ Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 88(7) (2010), pp. 551–5.
For example, see: M. Heywood, ‘South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign: Combining law and social mobilization to realize the right to health,’ Journal of Human Rights Practice 1 (2009), pp. 14–36.
George J. Annas, ‘The Right to Health and the Nevirapine Case in South Africa,’ New England Journal of Medicine 348 (2003), p. 751.
Alicia Ely Yamin, ‘Promoting Equity in Health: What Role for Courts?’ Health and Human Rights, 16(2) (December 2014), p. 2; and in the same edition, L. Colleen Flood and Aeyal Gross, ‘Litigating the Right to Health: What Can We Learn from a Comparative Law and Health Care Systems Approach?’ pp. 62–72.
See also: Ebenezer Durojaye (ed), Litigating the Right to Health in Africa: Challenges and Prospects (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015); Jonathan Berger, ‘Litigating for Social Justice in Post-Apartheid South Africa: A Focus on Health and Education,’ in Varun Gauri and Daniel M. Binks (eds), Courting Social Justice: Judicial Enforcement of Social and Economic Rights in the Developing World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 38–99; Marius Pieterse, ‘Health, Social Movements, and Rights-based Litigation in South Africa,’ Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 35, No. 3 (September 2008), pp. 364–88; and ‘The Law, the Courts, and Sexual and Reproductive Rights.’ Reproductive Health Matters, vol. 22, no. 44, (2014), p. 222.
Keith Syrett, ‘Evolving the Right to Health: Rethinking the Normative Response to Problems of Judicialization,’ Health and Human rights 20(1), June 2018, pp. 121–32; Emmanuel Kolawole Oke, ‘Incorporating a right to health perspective into the resolution of patent law disputes,’ Health and Human rights Vol. 15, No. 2 (December 2013), pp. 97–109.
Joel E. Cohen, How Many People Can the Earth Support? (New York: Norton, 1996).
Steven Epstein and Laura Mamo, ‘The proliferation of sexual health: Diverse social problems and the legitimation of sexuality,’ Social Science and Medicine 18 (2017), pp. 180–83.
Ibid., p. 187.
Ann M. Starrs, et al., ‘Accelerate progress—sexual and reproductive health and rights for all: report of the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission,’ The Lancet 391 (2018), pp. 2642–92.
WHO, Sexual health and its linkages to reproductive health: an operational approach (Geneva: World Health Organization, 2017).
UN Population Fund, Population Council, ‘Planning and implementing an essential package of sexual and reproductive health services’ (2011), available at: http://www.unfpa.org/resources/planning-and-mplementing-essential-package-sexual-and-reproductive-health-services
United Nations, ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 agenda for sustainable development,’ A/RES/70/1. New York, NY: United Nations, 2015.
Federico Lenzerini, The Culturalization of Human rights Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), p. 216.
Ibid., p. 58.
Carmen Barroso, ‘From reproductive to sexual rights,’ in Peter Aggleton and Richard Parker (eds), Routledge Encyclopedia of Sexuality, Health and Rights (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010), pp. 379–88.
© 2020 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
About this chapter
Cite this chapter
Poku, N.K. (2020). Sexual and Reproductive Health as Rights. In: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa. Global Research in Gender, Sexuality and Health. Palgrave Pivot, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-8502-9_3
Publisher Name: Palgrave Pivot, Singapore
Print ISBN: 978-981-15-8501-2
Online ISBN: 978-981-15-8502-9