Associate Professor of Global Health Policy - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Exploring Human Rights for Access to Medicines in Global Health Governance
Human Rights in Global Health: Rights-Based Governance for a Globalizing World is organized in six main parts: (1) Human Rights in Global Health, (2) the World Health Organization, (3) Inter-Governmental Organizations, (4) Funding Agencies, and (5) Global Health in Human Rights Governance.
Building from the treatise that I am developing on Health and Human Rights, Part I introduces the reader to the central importance of human rights for global health. The first chapter of Part I provides a theoretical basis for the book by laying out the role of human rights under international law as a basis for public health, defining the ‘rights-based approach’ to health. With a second chapter discussing the rise of the discipline of health and human rights, this chapter provides a basis for understanding the expansion of the health and human rights movement from one focused on negative human freedoms to one that now addresses the interconnected civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights that underlie health. From this basis in the right to health and health-related human rights, the final chapter of Part I addresses the function of human rights as a framework for global health governance, focusing on governments and intergovernmental organizations (rather than the corporate entities, individual philanthropists, nongovernmental organizations, and other actors that are not bound by human rights norms under international law) that define global governance for health.
Examining case studies in global health governance, Parts II through V of Human Rights in Global Health: Rights-Based Governance for a Globalizing World focus on specific institutions, with each chapter structured by:
(a) describing the origins of the institution,
(b) reviewing the birth and historical evolution of human rights within the institution,
(c) describing current efforts to mainstream human rights in institutional practices,
(d) analyzing the distinct institutional factors that facilitate or inhibit human rights mainstreaming, and
(e) concluding with future institutional efforts to mainstream rights in global health governance.
Rather than looking only to the language of human rights in institutional documents, these chapters seek to analyze how institutional practices reflect human rights norms, highlighting the wide range of institutional approaches to human rights mainstreaming – with a particular focus on WHO, UNAIDS, and OHCHR in Geneva. This standard structure for each chapter allows for comparisons across institutions, seeking to uncover generalizable institutional determinants of (and obstacles to) human rights in global health governance.
Dr. Meier’s interdisciplinary research—at the intersection of international law, public policy, and global health—examines human rights frameworks for global health governance. Advancing rights-based frameworks for public health, he has written and presented extensively on the development, evolution, and implementation of human rights – serving as a consultant to international organizations, national governments, and nongovernmental organizations.