The purpose of the gathering is to provide an opportunity for the sharing of experiences and for mutual learning on how to engage with the United Nations (UN) and African Regional Human Rights Systems to advance palliative care.
This will be an initial step to help bridge the gap between human rights organisations that are interested in advocating for the recognition of human rights related to palliative care and palliative care organizations that want to extend their advocacy work to international and regional human rights systems.
Palliative care is increasingly recognized as a human right – for example, it is a component of the human right to health. Both the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights have acknowledged that palliative care is intrinsic to the right to health.
Similarly, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health and the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment have highlighted governments’ obligations related to providing palliative care and pain relief. However, there has not yet been extensive use of human rights mechanisms by civil society organizations to promote this right.
Participants include representatives of the following organisations:
- African Palliative Care Association (APCA)
- Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA)
- Palliative Care Association of Uganda (PCAU)
- Palliative Care Association of Malawi (PACAM)
- International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC),
- Economic & Social Rights Center – Hakijami,
- Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS (KELIN)
- Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)
- Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER)
- Uganda Network on Law, Ethics and HIV/AIDS (UGANET)
- the Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation – Malawi (CHRR); and
- Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR).
Follow the Twitter hashtag #righttopalliativecare to keep up with the proceedings, and look out for more news on ehospice.