Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health

Human Rights Day 2014: #rights365

A statement from the independent Expert Review Group on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health

"Of all forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane..."

Martin Luther King junior

On December 10 every year, Human Rights Day commemorates the date on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaiming its principles as the “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”.

Committing to these principles means a commitment to actually strive towards achieving Human Rights for all every day. We welcome and fully support this year’s slogan: Human Rights 365. Like life itself it is never done and requires continues unwavering and daily, hourly, efforts.

In our world today, in 2014, we see that in places where there had been progress in achieving human rights, this progress has been lost, in some places to some degree in others totally.

Every woman, every child, every adolescent, and every man should have equal access to quality health care. But the reality today is that at least one billion people each year cannot afford a doctor, cannot pay for medicines or for access to essential care without risking catastrophic economic consequences. Today, still, the poorest and most marginalized populations bear the brunt of preventable maternal and perinatal deaths as well as many other diseases and health conditions like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and non-communicable diseases.

The reality also is that even for those who take the economic risk and pay huge amounts of money for care, the care they receive is of low quality or none at all. High quality health care has to be care that, apart from being evidence-based and safe, respects the dignity of each and every woman, adolescent, her child and family and has her wellbeing, not just her disease or health condition, at heart.

Access to good quality health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. We support the initiative to proclaim December 12 Universal Health Coverage Day. Health for All. Everywhere.

Realised Human Rights mean wellbeing for all. Everywhere.

Joy Phumaphi (Co-Chair), Richard Horton (Co-Chair), Carmen Barroso, Zulfiqar Bhutta, Kathleen Ferrier, Sejal Hathi, Dean Jamison, Tarek Meguid, Miriam Were

The iERG was established in 2012 as the principal global review group to monitor progress on the recommendations from the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health. The iERG reports to the UN Secretary-General through the Director-General of WHO.