Human Rights Assessment Tool for Healthcare Systems

This comprehensive tool enables a human rights assessment of a wide range of healthcare reform initiatives, based on key human rights principles. It was originally developed for and applied to the reform effort in Vermont.

What Is a Human Rights Narrative and How Can It Help Create Change?

This fact sheet describes the components of a human rights narrative and how it can be used to counter dominant narratives that deny people’s rights and maintain systems of oppression. A human rights narrative reflects shared values that unify people around a positive vision for transformative change.

Spokesperson Training

This training presentation prepares participants for talking to the media, with the goal of developing them into effective spokespeople for the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign.

People’s Convention Facilitator’s Guide (excerpts)

These three Facilitator’s Guides were created for and used at Vermont’s People’s Convention for Human Rights in 2012. The Problem Tree workshop gets participants to map out their experiences of the human rights crisis in their communities and to identify the root causes of these problems.  For Facilitator’s Guide, click here. The Principled Vision workshop […]

Human Rights Principles and Vision Workshop – Facilitator’s Guide

A facilitation guide for a workshop that presents the human rights framework as a way to articulate our vision for a different kind of world and to increase our understanding of the human rights principles. The idea of the workshop is to “exercise the muscle” in our brains that helps us think about these principles […]

Human Rights Tree Workshop

This exercise is designed to get folks thinking about the root causes of the problems they experience and see in their workplaces and communities, and to introduce the concept of doing “root work” to transform the underlying systems.

Teeter Totter

This exercise is designed to get participants wrestling with how power relationships work in our society.  It offers a simple way to understand how decisions are made in our current political system and how that changes when we organize.

Committee Coordinator Member Brainstorm Worksheet

This worksheet, prepared by the Vermont Workers’ Center, is intended to assist Organizing Committee coordinators in both assessing their committee’s contacts and members and coming up with next steps to advance these contacts and members in their leadership development.

After Meeting Debrief Questions for Leadership Development

This list of debrief questions, prepared by the Vermont Workers’ Center, is intended to assist organizers and committee and team coordinators in thinking about the organization’s members and creating concrete next steps and plans for their ongoing leadership development.

Process Tools Handout

This table, produced by the Vermont Workers’ Center, offers a great collection of team building and meeting facilitation tools for making sure that all voices and perspectives are heard, collecting feedback, building relationships, arriving at consensus, and lots more.

Sample Outreach Materials

These Put People First! PA pamphlets and flyers are great tools to start discussions with friends, family and neighbors about issues really affecting their lives, introduce them to the organization and ask them if they’d like to join.

Point of Entry Canvassing Workshop

This powerpoint workshop presentation, produced by the United Workers, offers considerations in choosing a point of entry or outreach to potential new members and the basics of canvassing and organizing conversations.

Door Knocking Training

This training, prepared by Put People First! PA, is intended to prepare members for participating in a door knocking drive. It reviews the purpose of door knocking, the goals of a particular drive, a rap or plan for an organizing conversation, the materials included in a door knocking kit, and a role play which clarifies […]

Anatomy of an Organizing Conversation

This document, produced by the Vermont Workers’ Center, describes the five parts of an effective and structured organizing conversation when talking to new people about the organization and its campaign.

A People’s Budget: Our Voice, Our Needs, Our Rights

This short video, produced by NESRI in collaboration with the Vermont Workers’ Center and their People’s Budget Campaign, explains how public budgets work now, and how they can and should work based on people’s voices, needs and rights.  The People’s Budget Campaign won a law requiring Vermont to develop a budget that addresses needs, advances […]

Stories Project – Guide to Getting Video Testimonies

This guide, produced by the Vermont Workers’ Center, provides best practices for collecting Healthcare Is a Human Right video testimonials that speak to both personal struggles with the current health care system as well as visions for a universal health care system.

Letters to the Editor Writeathon

This online Letter to the Editor form, featured on the Vermont Workers’ Center’s website, offers useful tips for writing letters to the editor and the ability to submit letters directly to Vermont media outlets.

Letters to the Editor Worksheet

This worksheet, produced by the Vermont Workers’ Center, provides an easy to use template for writing a Healthcare Is a Human Right letter to the editor. The Vermont Workers’ Center’s website also features an online Letter to the Editor form that offers useful tips for writing letters to the editor and the ability to submit […]

The People’s Media Project: Media and Communications in the Movement

This article describes the Vermont Workers’ Center’s approach to media and communications. Amongst the many themes it addresses are how the VWC thinks about making media, the role movement media plays in shifting public discourse and creating a shared vision based on human rights principles, and how media makers are also organizers.

Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign 10 Financing Standards

These human rights standards for financing healthcare 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 healthcare system. Download the standards below or read the full proposal here.

Towards Equitable Financing of Green Mountain Care

In this report, the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign sets out financing standards for universal healthcare and specifies a mix of equitable revenue sources for financing Vermont’s universal healthcare system.

“Lines-in-the-Sand” Tool for Campaign Decision-making

This set of 10 criteria was developed by Vermont’s Healthcare Is a Human Right campaign to facilitate the determination of “lines-in-the-sand” for specific issues, which may arise over the course of advocacy activities, such as new opportunities or threats to the campaign’s policy positions. A “line-in-the sand” means that a campaign commits to taking action […]

Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign Policy Positions Worksheet

This policy training tool was designed to help Vermont Workers’ Center members to better link their own healthcare stories to the HCHR Campaign’s collectively agreed policy positions, thus enabling members to communicate and advocate for policy positions in a more compelling and effective way.

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.

The Path Walked by a Leader

This flow chart tracks the progress of a member from initial contact with the organization through active membership and eventually leadership in the organization.

New Member Handbook

This handbook orients new members of the Vermont Workers’ Center to the organization’s mission, analysis and strategic orientation, history, structure, human rights organizing approach, campaigns, fundraising, budget, by laws and organizational agreements.  It also provides new members with lessons from the organization’s Healthcare Is a Human Right campaign, a list of organizational partners and movement […]

Growing the Healthcare Is a Human Right Movement, One State After Another

At the 2013 Left Forum in New York City, leaders from the Healthcare Is a Human Right campaigns in Vermont, Maine and Maryland presented their organizing model for achieving universal, publicly financed health care in their states. Moderated by NESRI, panelists discussed their collaboration, lessons learned, and how to expand this movement to other states.

Campaigns for the Human Right to Healthcare: Stories from Struggles

At the US Social Forum (Detroit in June 2010), Rishi Manchanda from the South Los Angeles Coalition for Health and Human Rights, Kim Abbott from the Montana Human Rights Network, Peg Franzen from the Vermont Workers’ Center, and Anja Rudiger from NESRI discuss approaches, challenges, victories, and lessons learned in their struggles for human right […]

Economists Throw Weight Behind Universal Health Care in Vermont

This article in Common Dreams reprints the open letter from economists to Vermont legislature calling for universal, publicly financed healthcare. The article concludes that “Thursday’s letter indicates that the grassroots movement has not lost momentum.”

Why Universal Health Care Is Essential for a More Equitable Society

This article explains why the current healthcare system is exacerbating inequality in our society and how public healthcare financing can help change this. It uses the equitable healthcare financing plan introduced by Vermont’s Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign to illustrate why healthcare is a matter of equality.

Using Human Rights for Health Care Advocacy

This presentation sets out the basics for using a human rights approach to develop broad-based campaigns and advocacy initiatives for health care reform, illustrated with examples of lessons learned from Vermont’s Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign.

A Strategic Vision for the Human Rights at Home Campaign

This statement was created by a grassroots coalition to describe a collective vision for a society guided by human rights. It describes how human rights arise from people’s struggles for justice, how governments are accountable for upholding human rights, how principles must guide struggles, and how a human rights vision builds unity among people and […]

NESRI’s Universal Periodic Review Report

This report was submitted to the UN Human Rights Council by NESRI and a coalition of seven collaborating organizations. It addresses serious and ongoing issues in the state of economic and social rights in the US, and gives recommendations for action by the US Government.

The Fight for Health Care Justice Moves to States

LaborNotes reports on the groundswell of state-by-state organizing for universal, publicly financed healthcare, citing the leadership of the Vermont Workers’ Center in building a winning model.

“Small Place Close to Home”: Toward a Health and Human Rights Strategy for the US

In the journal Health and Human Rights, Elizabeth Tobin Tyler explores health and human rights strategies in the US. While she mainly focuses on legal approaches, she also stresses the importance of grassroots organizing to drive policy change by highlighting the Vermont Workers’ Center’s campaign for universal publicly funded health care.

Building Local Support for the Human Right to Healthcare

This presentation, prepared for the conference “Health and Human Rights in Connecticut” at the University of Connecticut, April 28, 2011, shows how the human rights framework can be used for health reform advocacy in the United States, with examples from Montana and Vermont.

NESRI Statement on Federal Health Reform

Despite all the celebrations about the federal health reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in March 2010, the law fails to meet the key human rights standards of universality, equity, and accountability.

Unequal Health Outcomes in the US

This report to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination documents racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care in the United States.

Embedding the Human Right to Healthcare in the US State Constitutions

Over recent years, health reform advocates in a number of U.S. states have run campaigns for including the human right to health care in state constitutions. This review summarizes these efforts, analyzes challenges common to this advocacy strategy, and offers key lessons learned. It examines cases from Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Oregon, North Carolina, and Florida.

Human Rights Assessment of Single Payer Plans

This report provides an in-depth human rights assessment of single payer health care proposals, along with a framework for assessing legislation. It compares single payer plans to the market-based insurance model and finds that a single payer approach is able to meet most human rights standards.

Realizing the Right to Health

In this third volume of the Swiss Human Rights Book series, leading international experts in human rights and health address issues such as access to essential medicine, HIV/AIDS, trade and health, SARS and malaria, and human rights approaches to other key health challenges. They address the role of governments, non-state actors and healthcare practitioners, the […]

Human Right to Healthcare

This info sheet highlights the key principles of the human right to healthcare and government obligations to ensure the human right to healthcare.

Role of Single Payer Proposals in the Human Right to Healthcare

This fact sheet compares single payer health care proposals to market-based approaches, based on human rights principles, and finds that single payer proposals are far better at meeting human rights standards. Download the factsheet below, or read the full report on single payer and human rights here.

Human Right to Health and Healthcare

This fact sheet briefly explains the human right to health and health care, and lists the international treaties which guarantee these rights.

People of Color and the Human Right to Healthcare: Federal Health Reform Law

In its series of fact sheets on the human rights impact of the new law, the NESRI release this analysis from the perspective of people of color. We find that the law’s failure to meet the key human rights standards of universality, equity, and accountability has concrete repercussions for people of color.

Op-Ed: New Solution for Universal Healthcare

This article examines how the Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates an opportunity to reevaluate healthcare reform — and explains how Vermont’s human rights model for healthcare reform meets people’s fundamental needs in a way that the ACA’s market-based model cannot.

Lessons from the Single-Payer State

The Vermont Workers’ Center puts forward five key lessons from its campaign to pass a universal healthcare law, which can be applied to movement building efforts more generally.

From Market Competition to Solidarity?

The human right to healthcare offers an analytical and advocacy framework for shifting the healthcare reform debate from individualist, market-based approaches to the collective responsibility for health care as a public good.

Bernie Sanders: Healthcare is a Right Not a Privilege

In this article, Senator Bernie Sanders affirms healthcare as a right and states that “at the end of the day, as difficult as it may be, the fight for a national health care program will prevail. Like the civil rights movement, the struggle for women’s rights and other grass-roots efforts, justice in this country is […]

From Private Profits to Public Goods?

This article discusses the health policy proposals of the 2008 presidential election campaign and primaries, thereby offering a historical perspective on the reform positions that have shaped health policy under the Obama administration

Human Rights US Social Forum People’s Movement Assembly

This article lays out the human rights principles stated and agreed upon by collaborating organizations of the People’s Movement Assembly on the Right to Health at the US Social Forum in Detroit to guide the struggle for health and healthcare in the United States.

A Rights-Based Approach to Healthcare Reform

This book article outlines the history of the human right to health in the U.S., derives principles and standards from international human rights law, and offers a human rights framework for guiding health reform efforts.

It’s Not Enough to Be Angry

This article shares lessons learned for effective organizing and focuses on the importance of uniting across issues to create a powerful movement capable of confronting the fundamental problem of economic injustice.

People’s Recipe Ingredients – Key Points for Facilitators

The People’s Recipe was developed by the Vermont Workers’ Center through their Healthcare Is a Human Right campaign and the Put People First campaign, and by learning from other people’s organizations and movements.  The People’s Recipe highlights the key ingredients of the Vermont Workers’ Center’s organizing model.  This resource provides a brief definition and key […]

Human Rights Standards for Healthcare 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.

Human Rights Assessment Tool for Healthcare Benefits

This tool enables a human rights assessment of a healthcare benefits proposals, based on key human rights principles. It was developed for assessing the Green Mountain Care universal healthcare system planned in Vermont.

Affordable Care Act Supreme Court Challenge FAQ

This document explains the significance of the 2012 Supreme Court case dealing with challenges to the federal healthcare reform act and responds to frequently asked questions regarding the relationship between the ”Affordable Care Act” and the human right to healthcare.

Healthcare Is a Human Right: Confronting the Immigration Wedge in Vermont – Case Study for Communications Strategies for Community Organizing

This article is part of a report by the Echo Justice Communications Collaborative on developing innovative and effective communications strategies for community organizing. The article describes how the Vermont Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign used the human rights principle of universality to preempt division over immigration status and ensure that the healthcare law included […]

Human Rights Principles for Healthcare

This document presents Vermont’s Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign’s original statement of the five human rights principles (universality, equity, accountability, transparency, and participation).

Vermont Workers’ Center Healthcare Survey

This seven-question survey is designed to collect information about access to healthcare and give participants the chance to get involved further in the Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign.

Vermont Workers’ Center Healthcare Survey

This seven-question survey is designed to collect information about access to healthcare and give participants the chance to get involved further in the Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign.