Human Rights Framework

A human rights framework is woven through everything the Healthcare Is a Human Right campaigns do. Human rights place people’s needs and rights at the center of practice and policy, and focus on addressing the deepest injustices first. People’s struggles for human rights have shaped the history of movements and led to international human rights laws. Grounded in shared values, human rights offer unifying principles that can be used to connect with people on a personal level, build their leadership, create a vision for change, shift the public debate, guide policy advocacy and build common ground within and between movements. The resources below give basic information about human rights and the right to healthcare and show how human rights tools can help in the effort to transform healthcare from a market commodity to a public good.

Get the basics about human rights and the human right to healthcare:

  • Human Rights in the U.S.: This fact sheet describes what our human rights are and what obligations governments have to protect them.
  • A Human Rights Vision for Society — Core Principles:  This fact sheet puts forward human rights principles for a broader economic and social rights agenda in the U.S., as agreed by grassroots groups that came together in a Human Rights at Home campaign in 2012.
  • Human Right to Health and Healthcare: This fact sheet briefly explains the human right to health and health care, lists the international treaties which guarantee these rights and defines the principles of the right to healthcare.
  • Vermont Declaration of Human Rights:  Vermont’s People’s Convention for Human Rights, held in September 2012 with over 40 organizations participating, adopted this declaration of human rights, which outlines the current human rights crisis, its root causes, and the vision for realizing human rights.


Use human rights principles to campaign for healthcare reform:


Adapt tools from the HCHR Campaign in Vermont to assess and develop policy proposals:

  • Human Rights Assessment Tool for Health Care Systems:  This comprehensive tool enables a human rights assessment of a wide range of health care reform initiatives, based on key human rights principles. It was originally developed for and applied to the reform effort in Vermont.
  • Healthcare Is a Human Right 10 Financing Standards:  These human rights standards for financing health care were developed by Vermont’s Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign as part of a detailed rights-based proposal for financing the state’s universal health care system.
  • Healthcare Is a Human Right Standards for Benefits:  These human rights standards for health care “benefits” were developed by Vermont’s Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign to hold the government accountable for enabling access to all needed care and meeting all health needs.