The Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) hosted a two-day workshop on Gender and Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA). .Forty-three (43) persons participated in the workshop. Participants included representatives from ministries, civil society and the United Nation system. the workshop was held 9-10 May 2012, at the Ocean View hotel.
The workshop was conducted in order to strengthen the use of Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) in the review and development of national health policies, plans, strategies and legislations in Guyana, ensuring consistency with the United Nations Human Rights treaties and standards related to equitable access to health care.
• To review recommendations from Guyana’s May 2010 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) related to universal access to quality care;
• To discuss with the MOH and other public sector agencies the development of guidelines for the HRBA
in national health plans, strategies, policies and legislation (NHPSPL)
• To develop an outline of recommendations for integrating human rights into national health policies, strategies, plans and legislation (NHPSPL) consistent with PAHO Directing Council technical document CD50/12 and Resolution CD50.R8, Health and Human Rights.
The PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr. Beverley Barnett, in her remarks highlighted the importance of the workshop and outlined that the activity represented an important milestone in the technical cooperation that PAHO/WHO has with Guyana for 18 years. She stated that since 1946, the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health (right to health) has been enshrined in several international and regional human rights instruments and health is fundamental to human wellbeing and social and economic development. The right to health is also prominent in the constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO).
She also highlighted that" every person in Guyana is entitled to the basic right to a happy, creative and productive live, free from hunger, disease, ignorance and want. Article 40:1; and, every citizen has a duty to participate in activities designed to improve the environment and protect the health of the nation” Article 25;
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran in his opening remarks, stated that the Ministry of Health operates as part of the wider administration which is guided by a constitution. In recent years, there were several constitution reform activities, some of which are ongoing. As a result, several commissions were formed which oversee and ensure that the treaties that the administration has signed onto are observed and that the populace who claim to be victims has recourse.
Conventions Guyana has signed onto include:
-Civil and Political Rights,
- Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
-Elimination of all form of violence against women
- Rights of the Child
- Elimination of all form of racial discrimination
Minister Ramsarran mentioned the commissions that were established, includes the Human Rights Commission, the Women and Gender Commission, the Indigenous People Commission and the lately formed Disability Commission.Several presentations were made by Ms. Sandra delPino, Human Rights Specialist, PAHO/WHO and each presentation was followed by discussions. During the discussions sessions, several issues were raised including: care for prisoners and protection for health care workers who are tasked with providing services for prisoners; inclusion of human rights for health care providers and their clients in the draft human rights strategy for health; more training on human rights for health care providers; enlightenment of Guyanese on their basic human rights and having a multi-sectoral approach to human rights.
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