NESRI Media Center

“Small Place Close to Home”: Toward a Health and Human Rights Strategy for the US

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Publication Date: 
December 1, 2013
Author: 
Elizabeth Tobin Tyler
Organization Title: 
Health And Human Rights Journal

In the journal Health and Human Rights, Elizabeth Tobin Tyler explores health and human rights strategies in the US. While she mainly focuses on legal approaches, she also stresses the importance of grassroots organizing to drive policy change by highlighting the Vermont Workers' Center's campaign for universal publicly funded health care:

"Vermont’s passage in 2011 of “An Act Relating to a Universal and Unified Health System” was the result of a grassroots campaign by the Vermont Workers’ Center to frame health care as a human right. The campaign brought together a wide range of constituents, including business, labor unions, community organizations, health care providers, and lawyers to lobby for a universal, publicly-financed, and equitable health care system in the state. Furthermore, using human rights principles, advocates averted a proposed amendment to the legislation that would have prevented undocumented immigrants from participating in the system. The campaign “was conceived as a vehicle for building a broad-based movement for social change, encompassing a social and economic justice agenda beyond the single issue of universal health care.”

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