The world’s governing bodies have tasked a group of experts to expand the health and human rights of women, children and adolescents everywhere. The new working group aims to generate high-level political support and technical knowledge to embrace human rights-based implementation and accountability for the health of these populations. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights named the new working group members Sept. 22.
Rights expert Hina Jilani said: “Together we aim to put first those who have previously come last. Health is not a luxury — it is a human right.”
The working group became a reality after it was initially announced by Kate Gilmore, deputy high commissioner for human rights, at the World Health Assembly in Geneva last May.
“This working group marks a seismic shift and will generate high-level political commitment for the health and human rights of women, children and adolescents everywhere — even in the toughest of places,” said Sofia Gruskin, director of the USC Program on Global Health & Human Rights. “I’m honored to take part in this landmark initiative,” said Gruskin, who holds a joint appointment at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the USC Gould School of Law. “By convening the world’s top human rights champions and public health leaders, we now have a real place at the global table; our research, our demands will be heard and addressed by the highest levels of government.”
The group will meet three times throughout the year and will present their findings and progress at the World Health Assembly and Human Rights Council in May.