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African Human Rights Law Journal

On-line version ISSN 1996-2096
Print version ISSN 1609-073X

Abstract

DUROJAYE, Ebenezer. An analysis of the contribution of the African human rights system to the understanding of the right to health. Afr. hum. rights law j. [online]. 2021, vol.21, n.2, pp.751-781. ISSN 1996-2096.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/1996-2096/2021/v21n2a30.

The right to health is one of the important rights guaranteed in international and regional human rights instruments. Over the years the content and nature of this right have evolved through the works of scholars and clarifications provided by human rights treaty bodies. Focusing on the work of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, this article assesses the contributions of the African human rights system towards the advancement of the right to health. It outlines some of the major achievements in terms of normative framework as exemplified by the provisions of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, the African Youth Charter and the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Older Persons. In addition, it highlights the clarifications provided by the African Commission charged with interpreting the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and the African Women's Protocol. These include the adoption of resolutions, General Comments, guidelines and important decisions which provide a nuanced understanding of the right to health in the African context. The article identifies challenges militating against the full enjoyment of the right to health, including sexual and reproductive health in the region, such as the slow ratification of important human rights instruments, the lack of political will for law reforms, the failure to timeously submit state reports and interference with the work of the African Commission. The article concludes by calling on African governments to exhibit political will in ensuring the effective implementation of the right to health at the national level.

Keywords : right to health; African human rights system; sexual and reproductive health and rights; African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

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