Main Article Content

Human rights and public health working together: an approach to violence prevention

MM Motlagh


Human rights and public health are two main components of an effective and comprehensive approach to physical and mental well being. However, an important gap remains between theoretical approaches and pragmatic considerations. In the general framework of violence prevention, human rights and public health approaches are two powerful tools that can address major issues together. However, human rights and public health are usually considered separately in the implementation of violence prevention programmes. This article makes a contribution to safety promotion and injury prevention
by bringing together these two approaches to violence and, more generally, to health threats. In order to facilitate a global understanding, the article will first review the basic concept of human rights and also give a concise overview of the notion of the individual's right to health. Then, there will be a particular focus of interest on violence from a human rights perspective, and the elements that can best complement the public health approach will be analysed. Bearing in mind how both human rights and public health can be combined efficiently, some concrete examples, such as child maltreatment, interpersonal violence,
and violence against women, will be considered. In conclusion, the article will give direction and recommendations for integrating human rights concepts into public health in order to strengthen pragmatic actions that will ultimately guarantee individuals access to the highest attainable level of health.

Keywords: human rights, public health, child injuries, violence prevention

African Safety Promotion Vol. 6 (2) 2008: pp. 1-18