Student Reflection on Health and Human Rights Advocacy


By Akua Nyarko-Odoom ’18

Defining “human rights” and “health” revealed some insights about health and humanity I had not previously considered. For both ideas, our class had a variety of definitions as to what human rights are and what it means to be healthy. During my conversation with Maggie, we briefly focused on why these definitions varied. Her current research/thesis deals with the question of health as a human right, a topic fitting for discussions in this class. Ultimately, she raised the point that the context within which we frame our definitions of health determine whether or not we can consider health to be a human right. She believes human rights must be able to be guaranteed, yet there are many things we classify to be human rights that we cannot guarantee, such as food and shelter. Intuitively, it seems right to guarantee health, and thus I am more inclined…

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