“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” (art.1)
“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care…” (art.25)
“ The recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world” (Preamble)
The fundamental basis of our work is that we believe in the equality of all human beings, regardless of their opinions, sex, race, ethnic, political or religious background, social status or property.
We believe that this equality should be present in access to medical care around the world, and that everyone should benefit from the right to free, high quality healthcare. As our founder, Gino Strada, wrote previously in relation to the Ebola outbreak:
“The tools to save a life, many or few, effective or useless as they might prove to be, must always be available to all. And if the resources are missing? Let’s find them. And if an intensive care unit for Ebola doesn’t exist in Africa? Let’s build it.”
On the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, EMERGENCY published its ‘Manifesto for a Human Rights-Based Medicine’:
Equality: Every human being has the right to be cured. Standards of health care, set by the progress of medical knowledge, must be delivered equally and without discrimination to all patients.
Quality: High quality health systems must be based on the community’s needs, up to date with the achievements of medical science, and not oriented, shaped or determined by lobbies and corporations involved in the health industry.
Social responsibility: Governments must have the health and well-being of their citizens as their priority, and allocate adequate human and financial resources. The services provided by health systems and humanitarian projects in the health sector must be accessible to and free of charge for all.
2016 has been a challenging year. Healthcare facilities have been the target of destruction in the Middle East, whilst chronic underfunding continues to affect access around the world. We implore governments to fulfil their human rights obligations and will lead by example: providing high quality, free healthcare wherever we work.