Position of human rights education in medical schools in Asia

June 25, 2016


Following an IFHHRO Health and Human Rights course in Taiwan, two medical students from India, Nishtha Khatri and Neha Masrani, investigated the position of human rights within the medical curricula in medical schools across Asia, as well as what the ideas of medical student are regarding this subject.

The research report, entitled Exploring best practice in Asia with regards human rights education within medical curricula, has now been published on the IFHHRO website. The students, both from Grant Medical College in Mumbai, India, developed a questionnaire, which they sent to medical students in their own country as well as other countries in Asia. They received input from 14 countries, although the majority of responses (87) came from India.

Main results

Of the Indian students, 54% reported that they received some kind of human rights education at their medical school. In the other countries, only 40% of the 67 students agreed that human rights education was positioned within a certain context at their medical school. A large majority of medical students stated that human rights education is important to them. Most of them would prefer periodic workshops in which a problem solving approach would be used.

“They did an impressive and inspiring job by carrying out an Asian continent-wide online survey among medical students,” said Robert Simons, Chair of IFHHRO. “This is the first survey on this scale and at this moment both students are considering a survey project on even a larger scale.” He added: “It is with proud and gratitude that two promising students and future doctors feel so dedicated to advocate the important relation between health and human rights.”

Download the report (PDF)