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INHR is well-positioned to advocate and articulate the right to health, especially given the expertise of its consultants who come from the World Health Organization. With a special focus on health and youth, communicable diseases, and mental health issues, INHR advocacy extends from the World Health Assembly to the Human Rights Council.
INHR has been at the forefront of reminding states and UN institutions of their human rights responsibilities in promoting health, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. We link public health with fundamental freedoms, help articulate international norms in the World Health Assembly and HRC, and support our partners to fight public health crises. When freedoms of expression, press and association are trampled we have seen an accelerated spread of SARS, Ebola, Avian flu and HIV, among others.
Civil society groups are often at the forefront of identifying new health crises, ensuring delivery of services, and making effective partnerships for public health education. In the countries where we work, we ensure close collaboration with these groups for effective policy making and implementation. We also educate civil society to advocate for and defend its rights.
One of INHR's directors introduced to the UN Human Rights Council the idea of protection of medical workers as a human rights concept. Thanks to this advocacy, the humanitarian principle that attacks on medical workers for providing care to dissidents or members of political opposition groups is a serious violation is now gaining traction in human rights law.
We advocate for the rights of women and girls in health care at the Human Rights Council, the World Health Assembly and with other specialized health agencies in Geneva and New York. We support civil society groups focused on rights of maternal health, sexuality education and reproductive rights. Women's rights are human rights and women's health is an important area of non-discrimination.
People living with Ebola, HIV, leprosy, Albinism and a range of disabilities face discrimination in their receipt of public services, in their access to health care and in their daily lives. INHR helps to highlight these issues for vulnerable populations and to ensure equal treatment for all.