Reading Tables

How to read the tables

Tables A and B provide an overview of relevant international and regional human rights instruments. They provide a quick reference to the rights instruments and refer you to the relevant articles of each listed human right or fundamental freedom that will be addressed in each chapter.

From Table 1 on, each table is dedicated to examining a human right or fundamental freedom in detail as it applies to patient care. The tables are organized as follows:

Human right or fundamental freedom

Examples of Human Rights Violations

    • Examples of violations are listed here.
Human rights standards  UN treaty body interpretation
This section provides general comments issued by UN treaty bodies as well as recommendations issued to States parties to the human right treaty. These provide guidance on how the treaty bodies expect countries to implement the human rights standards listed on the left.
Human rights standards Case law
This section lists case law from regional human rights courts only. There may be examples of case law at the country level, but these have not been included. Case law creates legal precedent that is binding upon the states under that court’s jurisdiction. Therefore it is important to know how the courts have interpreted the human rights standards as applied to a specific issue area.
Other interpretations:
This section references other relevant interpretations of the issue.
It includes interpretations by:

    • UN Special Rapporteurs
    • UN working groups
    • International and regional organizations
    • International and regional declarations

The tables provide 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.  In determining whether any human rights standards or interpretations can be applied to your current work, consider what violations occur in your country and whether any policies or current practices in your country contradict human rights standards or interpretations.

Human rights law is an evolving field, and existing legal standards and precedents do not directly address many human rights violations. Through ongoing documentation and advocacy, advocates can build a stronger body of jurisprudence on human rights.