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Health and Human Rights


Title page: Health and Human Rights

by Martina Metz, Ilse Worm, Jutta Wagner
Published by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, November 2009

The paper presents the position of German development policy on a human rights-based approach in health-related development cooperation.

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Human rights and health are interrelated. The basic causes of morbidity and mortality in developing countries – malnutrition, inadequate access to clean drinking water, living and working conditions which are hazardous to health, lack of education and the exclusion of many poor and disadvantaged people from essential health services – arise out of the failure to meet human rights commitments. Conversely, implementing the relevant human rights helps improve the state of health of a society, and particularly of disadvantaged groups. At the same time, health is a basic requirement for enjoying other human rights and participating in social, economic and political life.

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