Global Health and Human Rights Database

September 24, 2013


The Global Health and Human Rights Database is a free online database of law from around the world relating to health and human rights. This database offers an interactive, searchable, and fully indexed website of case law, national constitutions and international instruments.


Health and human rights judgments

The right to health and other health-related rights have been enshrined in a number of international treaties, regional instruments, and national constitutions and laws. This has given rise to a significant body of cases decided by national courts and international and regional human rights bodies that interpret the content and State obligations of the right to health and other health-related rights, based on relevant human rights treaties and other legal instruments. However, despite growing use of international, regional and domestic litigation to enforce and interpret rights in health related-matters, there is no comprehensive collection and categorization of health and human rights judgments. In response, the Lawyers Collective and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law – working with over 100 partners globally, including NGOs, academics and private researchers – collaborated to bring together judgments, instruments, and constitutions involving health and human rights in a single Global Health and Human Rights Database. The Database consists of three sections:  1) Judgments; 2) International and regional instruments; and 3) National constitutions.

Starting point for research and practice

As practitioners and scholars analyze legal strategies, the Database can provide a starting point for research and practice. Given the growth of this database, it is expected that such a resource may serve as a basis for analogous legal reasoning across states to serve as precedents for future judgments, for comparative legal analysis of similar health claims in different country contexts, and for empirical research to clarify the impact of health-related rights on health outcomes.

The database, which has been online since early 2013, will be formally launched on 24 October in New York. 

Access the database