A Toolkit on the Right to Health is a practical tool linking research, training and advocacy to educate communities on their right to health, how to identify violations of such rights and how to respond to these violations. It can be used as a stand-alone source of information or as training tool for workshops on the right to health.

Each section of the toolkit uses practical examples to illustrate ideas, and has a number of exercises and case studies that could be used for training purposes. At the end of each chapter is a set of workshop handouts that can be photocopied for participants.

The toolkit is a product of the Learning Network, which was established in 2008 by the Health and Human Rights Program at the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape in South Africa, Maastricht University in the Netherlands, Warwick University in the United Kingdom, as well as by South African civil society organizations—The Women’s Circle, Women on Farms Project, Ikhaya Labantu, Ikamva Labantu, Epilepsy South Africa and the Cape Metropolitan Health Forum.

While the toolkit is aimed at South African audiences, it is also hoped that it can be adapted for use in other countries in the Africa and beyond.

The toolkit is divided into four main sections:

  • Section 1: Focuses on a general understanding of human rights, particularly those rights set out in the South African Constitution, limitations on rights and the role of community members in claiming rights.
  • Section 2: Discusses the importance of the relationship between health and human rights, focusing on South African and international laws on the right to health and the duties of government in realizing the right to health.
  • Section 3: Focuses on violations of the right to health, gives an approach to identifying violations of the right to health and suggestions on whom to hold accountable when rights are violated.
  • Section 4: Covers citizen and community participation in health as a way of realizing the right to health, focuses on governance in health and the role that health committees could play as formal structures set up for community participation in health.

Click here to download a PDF of A Toolkit on the Right to Health.

1. Fick N, London L, Coomans F. A Toolkit on the Right to Health. Cape Town, South Africa: Learning Network, 2011.