Table 3: Minority Health and the Right to Expression and Information

Examples of Human Rights Violations

  • There are fewer health facilities in ethnic minority communities, and there is little attempt to provide them with basic health information.
  • Ethnic minority women lack access to information on sexual and reproductive health.
  • Data on minorities’ health is inadequate, hindering the development of policies to address the needs of these communities.
Human Rights Standards Treaty Body Interpretation
ICESCR 12(1): The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. CESCR General Comment No. 14 (12): Health care accessibility “includes the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas concerning health issues.”
CEDAW 10(h): Access to specific educational information to help to ensure the health and well-being of families, including information and advice on family planning.

CEDAW 16(1)(e): The same rights to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise these rights.

CEDAW Committee: Noting the lack of information on Roma women and their access to health services in Hungary; recommending data collection disaggregated by sex and the implementation of health awareness campaigns. A/57/38(SUPP), Aug 2002, para. 332.

CEDAW Committee: Urging the collection of statistical information on the health of Roma women and girls in Romania in order to develop policies responsive to their needs. CEDAW/C/ROM/CO/6 (CEDAW 2006) para. 27.

FCNM 9(1): The Parties undertake to recognize that the right to freedom of expression of every person belonging to a national minority includes freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas in the minority language. AC: Highlighting the need for data to assess Roma (and particularly Roma women’s) access to health services and education in Slovakia; data would have to be provided voluntarily, and Roma communities should be informed about the methods and purpose of data collection. ACFC/OP/II(2005)004, May 2005, para. 11.