The overall objective of this course is to explore the present and potential role of international human rights law – and the right to health in particular – in international assistance for global health.
During the first class, we will discuss the recent history and present practice of international assistance for global health. We will discuss tensions between the objectives of development and relief, and between the objectives of promoting ‘health security’ and equity in global health. During the second class, we will explore the concept of equity in global health: how it is central to several definitions of global health, what the practice of international assistance for global health should look like, if the predominant objective of that assistance were equity. During the third class, we will examine the meaning of the right to health, the freedoms and entitlements it generates and the corresponding national and international responsibilities. During the fourth class, we will discuss if and how the right to health can be used to modify/improve the practice of international assistance for global health, taking into account that such assistance serves other objectives as well.