The right to physical and mental health is a fundamental human right, but millions of people worldwide have no access to basic healthcare services and cannot afford even the most basic medicines.  

The right to health is consistently violated as regulatory frameworks fail to protect people from being exposed to pollution and toxic waste.  Violations of the right to health caused by the dumping of toxic waste or the pollution of drinking water or other elements is widespread, especially for poor people whose right to health and to life itself are not respected.  This is particularly true in countries where natural resource extraction - of oil, gold or other resources - is underregulated and the rights of the poor, indigenous and marginalized go unprotected by their governments.   

According to the World Health Organization, about 2 billion people lack access to even basic healthcare.  Millions of women die needlessly from lack of care during childbirth.  More than 11 million people die from infectious diseases because they cannot afford basic medicines.  As health and health research is privatized and patented, those who cannot pay are excluded, and the poorest are condemned to a life of anxiety, pain and poverty. 

Ecuador: Oil and Rights Violations in the Ecuadorian Amazon
Over the last 22 years, oil companies have discharged billions of gallons of toxic contaminants into the Ecuadorian Amazon. The report argues that the failure of Ecuador's government to prevent widespread contamination constitutes a violation of its citizens right to health and a healthy environment. It also calls attention to a larger international problem: the clash between development policy and the basic principles of economic and social rights (PDF download).
Ecuador: Recognizing the Right to Health
Violations of basic rights, such as the right to health, claim far more lives in Ecuador than all the death squads in Latin America combined. This report reframes issues of human suffering, ill-health, malnutrition and poverty through the lens of the human right to health. It shows that human suffering is the result of deliberate human decisions and policies and human rights provide a framework for accountability.
Honduras: The Price of Gold
This report investigates the impact of the rapid, unregulated expansion of the gold mining industry in Honduras. The report focused on serious violations of the right to health as a result of using cyanide and other dangerous toxins in open pit gold mining. CESR presented this report to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights during its twenty fifth session, which led to the Committee calling on government to protect workers and families from cyanide exposure.
Sexual and Reproductive Health: Submission to UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)
CESR's submission on the right to sexual and reproductive health, to be discussed by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights during its 45th Session on November 15, 2010.