Friday, June 29, 2018

What do human rights have to do with health?


I was interrogated by the system, "What do human rights have to do with health communication?"

The culture-centered approach seeks to build communicative infrastructures for listening to the voices of the margins.

The communicative infrastructures serve as anchors to the articulation of transformative processes that challenge the unhealthy structures that constitute health. The recognition that the inequalities in health outcomes are often produced by highly unequal structures that are sustained and reproduced by unhealthy policies emerges as the basis for health communication as health advocacy.

In the voices of the margins, the challenges to health are often understood as challenges of human rights. Beginning with the notion that health is a fundamental human right, communities at the margins co-create advocacy strategies directed at resisting structures that deny them this fundamental human right.

As a way of responding to the interrogation, I went back to the method of the CCA, and asked some of our advisory group members in our advocacy work on poverty and transgender health on the relationship between health and human rights. One of our advisory board members, Sita [name changed] responded, "You should tell the structure, "Fuck you." Long gone is the time for explanation to the structure. You just make it change. It won't change without resistance. That's why it is with this language of human rights we continue resisting."

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