This toolkit was designed in response to the need for a practical tool to empower communities in Southern and East Africa on what the right to health means, howto identify violations of health rights and how to respond to these violations.The toolkit can be used as a standalone source of information or as training tool for workshops on the right to health. Each section uses practical examples to illustrate ideas, and has a number of exercises and case studies that could be used for training purposes. This toolkit is accompanied by a set of workshop handouts that can be photocopied for participants.
Many of the examples given in the toolkit are actual cases from across Southern and East Africa. The examples are specific to different countries, but each example can illustrate how to fight for the right to health and can be a source of inspiration for other organisations and communities who may have directly or indirectly experienced the same health-related issues.
The toolkit is designed for use by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) such as health committees, NGOs working with health issues, educational institutions, community members or anyone with an interest in health rights.
The toolkit is divided into five main sections:
- The first section aims to improve the general understanding of human rights,focusing on the different rights set out in international treaties and national Constitutions but also on the limitations of these rights and the role of community members in claiming rights.
- The second section on health and human rights discusses why the relationship between health and human rights is important.
- The third section on health and the law looks in detail at health rights in international law, but also in national Constitutions and secondary law; criteria for deciding whether the right to health is being met; and the duties of governments in realising the right to health.
- The fourth section focuses on violations of the right to health.The toolkit gives an approach to identifying violations of the right to health, and suggestions on whom to hold accountable when rights are violated and also how to complain about violations of health rights.
- The fifth and last section is about citizen or community participation in health as a way of realising the right to health. It covers the role that citizens could play in a democracy; participation as a right; and why participation is essential for the realisation of the right to health. Finally, this section focuses on the role that health committees could play as formal structures set up for community participation in health.