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Right To Health

The right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health includes a wide range of factors that can help us lead a healthy life.

It extends not only to timely and appropriate health care but also to the underlying determinants of health, such as:

  • access to safe and potable water and adequate sanitation;
  • an adequate supply of safe food, nutrition and housing;
  • healthy occupational and environmental conditions; and
  • access to health-related education and information.

The right to health includes access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Laws or policies that require parental or guardian notification or authorization before accessing SRHR goods and services such as contraceptives restrict young people’s access and limit their agency.

In depth…

Health services, goods and facilities must be provided to all without any discrimination. All services, goods and facilities must be available in sufficient quantity, as well as physically and financially accessible, respecting the right to seek, receive and impart health-related information in an accessible format. Moreover, the facilities, goods and services should also respect medical ethics, and be gender-sensitive and culturally appropriate. Finally, they must be scientifically and medically appropriate and of good quality.
The right to health also contains certain freedoms and entitlements. These include:

  • The right to be free from non-consensual medical treatment, such as medical experiments and research or forced sterilization;
  • The right to be free from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
  • The right to a system of health protection providing equality of opportunity for everyone to enjoy the highest attainable level of health;
  • The right to prevention, treatment and control of diseases;
  • Access to essential medicines;
  • Maternal, child and reproductive health;
  • Equal and timely access to basic health services;
  • The provision of health-related education and information;
  • Participation of the population in health-related decision making at the national and community levels.


Where can I learn more?

To learn more, take a look at:

Right To Adequate Housing

The right to adequate housing forms part of the right to an adequate standard of living; it means that everyone has the right to live somewhere in security, peace and dignity.