Health (Right to)

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South Africa is in the midst of an HIV/AIDS epidemic with more than 6 million people infected.    In 2,000, with infections of newborns in the range of 80,000 per year, the anti-retroviral drug Nevirapine offered the potential of preventing the infection of 30 – 40,000 children per year.  The drug was offered to the Government for free for five years, but the South African Government announced it would introduce Mother-To-Child-Transmission (MTCT) only in certain pilot sites and would delay setting these up for a year, thereby denying most mothers access to treatment.  The Treatment Action

The applicants alleged, amongst other things, that the legislative regime in The Gambia for mental health patients violated the right to enjoy the best attainable state of physical and mental health (Article 16) and the right of the disabled to special measures of protection in keeping with their physical and moral needs (Article 18(4)).  Both rights are guaranteed in the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.    

The petitioner sustained serious injuries after falling off a train. He was refused treatment at six successive State hospitals because the hospitals either had inadequate medical facilities or did not have a vacant bed. 

An action was filed by several minors represented by their parents against the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to cancel existing timber license agreements in the country and to stop issuance of new ones. It was claimed that the resultant deforestation and damage to the environment violated their constitutional rights to a balanced and healthful ecology and to health (Sections 16 and 15, Article II of the Constitution).   The petitioners asserted that they represented others of their generation as well as generations yet unborn.

Five joined communications alleged the existence of slavery and analogous practices in Mauritania and of institutionalized racial discrimination perpetrated by the ruling Moor community against the more populous black community. It was alleged, amongst other things, that black Mauritanians were enslaved, routinely evicted or displaced from their lands, which were then confiscated by the government along with their livestock.  It also was alleged that black Mauritanians were denied access to employment and were subjected to tedious and unremunerated work.

FIDH claimed that France had violated the right to medical assistance (Article 13 of Revised European Social Charter) by ending the exemption of illegal immigrants, with very low incomes, from charges for medical and hospital treatment. Further, the complainant alleged the rights of children to protection (Article 17) were contravened by a 2002 legislative reform that restricted access to medical services for children of illegal immigrants. The Committee found that France had acted contrary to the rights of children, but not adults.

In 1990 the non-profit agency that had provided sign language interpreter services in the lower mainland of British Columbia began experiencing serious financial difficulties and sought funding through officials at the Ministry of Health.  It was turned down.