IFHHRO | Medical Human Rights Network promotes health-related human rights, including the right to health. Our focus is on the important role of health professionals.

We believe that there lies a huge potential in the health professions that could be mobilized for the promotion and protection of human rights.

Featured Topic

IFHHRO’s online Human Rights for Health Workers training manual: training sessions in four languages


Steps for Change

How to use human rights to address problems in your own healthcare institution


Voices in the Field

Experienced professionals in the field of health on the role of human rights in their careers



Humanitarian Health Digest: a new quarterly bibliography of journal articles on humanitarian health

The Humanitarian Health Digest is a new quarterly bibliography of published peer-reviewed journal articles on humanitarian health. The Digest is compiled by the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health and The Lancet. It includes one or two new commentaries on peer-reviewed articles cited in the Digest.
The objective of the Digest is to provide links to peer-reviewed articles on humanitarian health from a wide variety of journals in one place for ease of reference. Peer-reviewed articles will be searched systematically using the PubMed and Global Health (OVID) databases. Articles will
mostly include primary research and systematic reviews.

All featured articles from the Lancet family of journals will be free to read with registration on TheLancet.com. It is the Center for Humanitarian Health’s goal that other journals will follow suit to allow all peer-reviewed articles to be free to read so that humanitarian workers worldwide can learn from and apply lessons learned and conclusions immediately in the field to benefit persons affected by conflict, natural disasters and technological disasters.

Access the Digest


Argentina: Lawmakers propose bill to legalize abortion

Women’s reproductive rights are a global issue. Around the world, women in many countries have restricted access to sexual health services including abortion, which goes against a woman’s human right. Developed countries have been meeting the rights of women as a result of mass protest. Argentina and is lawmakers are following these countries to ensure women’s reproductive rights are met.

Argentinean lawmakers belonging to a bipartisan group proposed on 6 March 2018 that women should be able to exercise their “human right to health, by voluntarily interrupting their pregnancy” . The name of this bill is Voluntary Termination Pregnancy. It would give women the right to terminate their pregnancy within the first 14 weeks. The bill also includes that women can terminate their pregnancy if the pregnancy was a result of “violation” (rape), risk to the woman’s life (mental, physical and social) and if there are any foetal abnormalities (severe disability).

Maternal mortality

Written consent from the woman is needed before any termination is performed. For girls aged 13-16, the law states there must be a level of “aptitude and maturity” for consent to be provided. Girls under the age of 13 are required to have a parent or legal guardian present.

This law is much needed as there is a growing issue of illegal (“back street”) abortions in Argentina, where approximately 27% of maternal deaths are due to complications surrounding abortion. This should be considered a high priority issue, as Argentina is among the countries with a medium to high maternal mortality rate.

According to the Argentinean Minister of Health, “the criminalization of abortion that prevails in many countries prevents access to safe procedures, which creates risks to the life and health of the women.” Argentina should be able to provide such services to ensure women who want to have children can do so without any issues and allow those who want to terminate pregnancy to do so in excellent sanitary conditions. This will reduce the number of women dying as a result of being denied their wish to terminate a pregnancy which was unplanned or not wanted due to personal reasons.

Source: http://www.jurist.org/paperchase/2018/03/argentina-lawmakers-unveil-bipartisan-bill-to-legalize-elective-abortion.php



New Topics: Drug control, refugees, transgenders

Lately, we published three new articles in the Topics section on the right to health of several vulnerable population groups: refugees, transgenders, and drug users.

Written by our volunteers Tara Ornstein and Gauri Deoras respectively, these articles shed some light on how societal attitudes, including those of health professionals, lead to diminished access to necessary health services for people from these groups with special health needs.

Go to Topics | Drug control

Go to Topics | Refugees’ health

Go to Topics | Transgenders’ health