New global health law initiative in the Netherlands

January 25, 2015


On Monday, January 26th, the Global Health Law Groningen (GHLG) initiative was launched at a meeting in the city of Groningen in the Netherlands. GHLG is aimed at researching international or ‘global’ health law as an emerging field of public international law. 

International or global health law is not a coherent field of international law at the present. The health-related standards are very fragmented and there is no overall international recognition of international or global health law as a distinct branch of international law. Moreover, these standards insufficiently emphasise equal access to and distribution of health services and the establishment of overall fairness in health.

Global Health Law Groningen initiative

The Global Health Law initiative of the University of Groningen focuses on these challenges through the lens of international law. It focuses in particular on issues such as global and domestic health inequalities, infectious and chronic diseases, access to medicines, reproductive health, accountability in the health system, and migrant health. The project ties in with the Right to Health Groningen initiative, which embraces the Constitutional Health Commitments Project and the Essential Laws for Medicine Access project (ELMA).

The new initiative will be coordinated by Dr Brigit Toebes, Associate Professor and IFHHRO Board Member. During the first event organized by Dr Toebes and her colleagues, the GHLG will be formally launched. Also, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will be discussed. This convention was adopted by the World Health Organization in 2003 and has so far been the most ‘successful’ standard under international health law.

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