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.

Support campaign

Stop threatening Russian health workers fighting corona! Please send them a message of support


Training materials

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



Israel: Substandard prison health care

IFHHRO partner Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHRI) recently published the English translation of an important report (originally in Hebrew) on prison health care in Israel, titled ‘Health remanded to custody. The Future of the Prison Health Care System in Israel’.

The report’s executive summary highlights that “morbidity among prison inmates (prisoners and detainees) is significantly higher than in the general population. Many inmates belong to socio-economically disadvantaged groups characterized by unhealthy lifestyles and a high rate of drug and alcohol abuse. In addition, living conditions in prison, which include overcrowding, a lack of physical space and restrictions imposed on the inmates’ daily routine, result in a sedentary lifestyle, heightened stress, poor nutrition and smoking.”

Health care for inmates is provided by the healthcare system of the Israel Prison Service (IPS), which operates independently of the Israeli public health system and the Ministry of Health and is not subject to effective external control and oversight.

PHRI emphasizes  that “the services provided to inmates are of poor quality and fail to meet the professional and ethical standards of the community health care system. Not only is the continued existence of a separate – and inferior – health care system for inmates morally wrong and not only does it violate the principle of equality, it is not cost-effective, as it will likely overburden the public health system which, once inmates are released from prison and rejoin society, will have to treat patients who did not receive optimal care.”

PHRI therefore calls for a system of prison health care that falls under public health services and the Ministry of Health.

Download the report (PDF)


Stop threatening Russian health workers!

IFHHRO has started a campaign in support of the Russian Alliance of Doctors, members of which have been harrassed for raising awareness about the lack of personal protective equipment in health facilities, among others.

Yesterday, we sent letters to the World Medical Association, the International Council of Nurses and the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, urging them to take a stand.

As of today, concerned health workers all over the world can submit a message of support to the staff and members of the Alliance of Doctors. We will collect these comments and send them to the Russian authorities in due time.

Read our statement and submit your message

Stop threatening Russian health workers - Go to our campaign

Read the statement issued by the Health Care in Danger network on 27 May 2020 on violence against health workers in times of COVID-19


Human rights and people who use drugs in the Mediterranean region

The Council of Europe has published a new report on human rights and people who use drugs in the Mediterranean region. It describes the current situation in 17 MedNET countries. The MedNET network consists of sixteen countries bordering the Mediterrean Sea and one landlocked one: Switzerland.

According to the report, a human rights-based approach to drug use should entail every single dimension related to drug use:

    • Health approach at the policy level: drug use must be considered rightly as a medical condition to be taken care of by qualified health professionals
    • Treatment must be available, accessible, affordable and science-based, with the best practices
    • Prevention must be based on science, facts and best practices
    • Data collection must be considered as a part of the right to access information for the community and the professionals
    • Rehabilitation and social reintegration must be provided
    • Access to treatment and care for specific populations must be available: people who use drugs in prisons, sex workers, pregnant women, migrants, refugees, elderly, etc.
    • Fight against stigma and raising awareness in the society as a whole is needed
    • The adaptation of the law to the human rights approach especially for minors and non-trafficking users
    • Promoting the right of people who use drugs to create their own NGOs and self-help groups
    • Promoting the right to access treatment for all the consequences of drug use
    • Promoting every strategy aiming at reducing the health, economic, social and legal consequences of drug use


Download the report (PDF)