- Right to health
This chapter explores how human rights norms, principles, and mechanisms can be applied to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs are now responsible for the vast majority of disease and death worldwide. There is widespread recognition that four behavioral risk factors are at the root of the major NCDs: tobacco use, unhealthy diet, lack of physical exercise, and the harmful use of alcohol. It is widely understood that law and policy measures, including bans and price measures, are important tools for implementing structural and risk avoidance strategies, changing unhealthy behaviors. Human rights scholars and practitioners increasingly emphasize the human rights dimensions of the NCD pandemic as a basis to develop laws and policies to address risk factors and prevent disease. This chapter outlines the current human rights dimensions and approaches to NCD risk factors and suggests opportunities to strengthen legal obligations to respond to NCDs, with an emphasis on controlling tobacco and promoting healthy diets.
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