About this Guide

About this Guide


This Resource Guide is a practical reference tool intended to serve as an introduction to the issue areas covered in each chapter. It has been designed for a wide array of users: health workers, trainers, program designers, litigators, and policymakers. Readers are encouraged to refer to other authoritative sources when conducting in-depth research on a specific topic.

The Resource Guide has been designed to be a user-friendly, multi-purpose tool in advocating for health and human rights. To ensure easy and widespread access, the Guide is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. This allows both a web-friendly version, as well as a print-friendly version, for use in any context. The Resource Guide has also been translated into multiple languages, all of which are available online.


The Resource Guide can be used for many different purposes. These include:

Collaborating with colleagues on strategy development  

The Resource Guide provides many examples of human rights violations and different strategies for advancing health and human rights.  These can serve as an inspiration for an organization’s strategy development.  The Resource Guide also provides many examples of collaboration between law-focused and public health staff to advance health and human rights.

• Developing regional or thematic courses and trainings

• Educating other funders

• Identifying human rights claims

The Resource Guide provides many examples of human rights violations as well as legal standards and precedents that can be used to redress those violations.  These tools can assist in framing common health or legal issues as human rights issues, and in approaching them with new intervention strategies.

• Adapting the case examples in your country

The case examples can serve as a model for others who work on those related issues.  Case examples can also be shared with partners or funders to encourage new projects or programs on health and human rights issues.

• Conduct further research

The resources provided are intended to help guide readers to authoritative sources on specific topics.  These lists can be helpful when writing an article or news press, preparing a presentation, or drafting a proposal.


The Resource Guide covers basic concepts in health and human rights.  This Introduction provides a primer on the right to health and human rights, an introduction to human rights-based approaches to policy and programming, an introduction to human rights mechanisms, and general resources on health and human rights.  The other nine chapters each focus on a different health issue or marginalized or vulnerable population.  The nine chapters do not reflect an exhaustive list of health and human rights issue areas.  Rather they highlight priority program areas of the FXB Center.

Each chapter is organized into six sections. These sections are listed below, together with a description of their purpose and how they can be used:

1. How is this topic a human rights issue? 

This section provides an introduction to the issue area and a description of why it is a human rights issue.  Some chapters also include a description of common human rights-based approaches to the issue.

2. What is a human rights-based approach to advocacy, litigation, and programming?

This section, common to each chapter, describes the key elements of a human rights-based approach. It also describes the different methods available for using a rights-based approach and the benefits that ensue.

3. What are the most relevant international and regional human rights standards related to this issue? 

This section provides two sets of tables.  The first set (Tables A and B) provides a quick reference to the relevant articles in international and regional human rights instruments referred to in the text.  The second set of tables are numerically labeled (Table 1 and on) and each is dedicated to an individual human right.  Each individual table lists examples of human rights violations as well as international and regional treaty body interpretation and case law interpreting the human right.   For example, Table 3 in the patient care chapter is “Patient care and the right to information.”

These tables are helpful for constructing human rights arguments, identifying opportunities for using human rights mechanisms, or doing human rights legal research.

4. What are some examples of effective human rights programming on this issue? 

This section provides examples of effective litigation and advocacy activities.  They are intended as suggestive precedents to be applied as needed in the particular context at hand.

5. Where can I find additional resources on this issue? 

The resources section provides a list of human rights instruments, topical resources, training materials and websites on specific human rights issue.  Most of the resources are available online (websites are provided) and are open source.  In some cases, the resources are available in multiple languages.

6. What are key terms related to this issue? 

The glossary provides generally accepted definitions of key terms utilized within the chapter or commonly used within the field.