Following some years of coordinating PHM’s Global Right to Health Campaign (RTHC), a Commission was set up in December 2009, tasked with defining the next phase for the global campaign. The Commission was asked to move the campaign from assessment phase to mobilisation and to propose ways for better integration of the RTH within PHM programmes. The Commission has proposed that the RTH be one of the overarching paradigm for PHM globally and proposed actions to more effectively use the RTH for movement building, focusing on networking, mobilisation and on capacity building.

The People’s Health Assembly (PHA3) to be held in Cape Town in July 2012, will provide the opportunity for a large number of PHM activists to engage with the work of the Commission, and to jointly be part of strategising and defining a clear programme of action for the RTH. In the lead up to the Assembly, we would encourage you to explore within your countries how the right to health could be used to strengthen country circles, with the aim of feeding this into workshops to be held at PHA3.

Please follow this link to access the PHM discussion paper on the Right to Health in preparation to the PHA3.

1. Objectives of the Right to Health Campaign

The overall aim of the RTHC is to provide a common platform for PHM programs and a framework for grassroots country activities, focusing on capacity building, the exchange of experiences, networking and movement building.

Specific objectives of the RTHC in the next phase are:

1. To provide a tool and a platform for networking and mobilisation at local, national and global levels through:

  1. Identifying and linking with other activists, programmes and activities; facilitating the exchange of knowledge, strategies, tools, success stories and lessons learned.

  2. Identifying and linking initiatives and groups that advocate for the right to health.

  3. Facilitating communication and mobilisation between activists at the global and grassroots levels.


2. To increase the impact of RTH initiatives / campaign activities at different levels through:

  1. Collecting information on local and global human rights initiatives and creating a pool of resources, tools, experiences and of expertise.

  2. Encouraging and facilitating the documentation of different successful forms of action as well a people’s struggles.

3. Ensuring people’s voices are represented in PHM global activities and its decision-making.

4. Building the capacity of PHM cadres to effectively use the rights-based approach in both programme and advocacy work.

2. Using the RTH to build our movement and the RTH as a campaign strategy

The RTH is one of the conceptual frameworks within which PHM works and as such PHM has further explored how to work within the aims and objectives proposed by the Commission, looking at practical ways to generate increased discussion to develop broader understanding of the RTH; and how to use this to build the movement and as a campaign strategy:

  • As the PHM has a distinct, politically contextualised and mobilisation-oriented approach to the Right to Health, the Commission recommended the development of a discussion paper on the RTH that will further elaborate and articulate PHM’s position on human rights and the RTH, as it differs from that of many other international organisations. This paper, now under preparation, aims to generate discussion in the lead to PHA3; it will be discussed, amended, finalised and endorsed at the PHA3.

  • The Commission has also made practical suggestions on how to include and use the RTH in existing PHM global programmes and events such as the IPHU, PHM’s WHO Watch and PHA3. These need to be further discussed within PHM structures and the different programmes and will be finalised at PHA3.

  • The commission has proposed several strategies for moving the RTHC from assessment to mobilisation looking at capacity development and practical ways to build the movement, namely:

  1. Building capacity using the RTH as a conceptual framework and a mobilising issue as well as the rights-based approach including the use of international human rights covenants and law, as well as other complementary approaches.

  2. Mobilising around issues related to the right to health (or denial of the right to health) based on the broad framework of the People’s Charter for Health and other guiding PHM documents.

  3. Building networks through the mapping of existing strategic allies and their resources, through expanded learning and through the encouragement of joint actions and campaigning around common issues between likeminded organisations at different levels.

PHM country circles and affiliate networks are encouraged to actively participate in the RTH Campaign by engaging using these opportunities. In the lead up to the PHA3 and a summary of the commission report will be distributed .

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions of clarification; write to anneleen@phmovement.org


PHM is embarking upon a global Right to Health and Healthcare campaign (RTHHC) which involves coordinated national and international level action. The overall idea of the campaign is to change the international approach to health and development, and, via a ‘Global Action Plan on the Right to Health Care,’ convincingly show how quality essential health care services (based upon the Alma Ata Primary Health Care model could be made available NOW to every human being on earth, provided certain key reallocation of priorities and resources. PHM will use a consultative process in about 40 countries to involve thousands of people in making this demand. PHM has gotten attention and credibility at the international level because it is seen as representing a large constituency of grassroots health workers, activists, and citizens and so the involvement of many people is key.

One way of engaging with the RTH campaign involves the production of rights-based evaluations of national health policies in countries with PHM circles. The global coordinating group has developed The Assessment of the Right to Health at the Country Level: A People’s Health Movement Guide for national PHM circles to use to produce consistant reports using human rights law. The process will generate lobbying/activist strategies to use on the national and international level. Key strategic allies within international organizations will be enlisted. The regional assembly process will generate a Global Action Plan for PHM.


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