The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals provide an opportunity to improve the health and human rights of those furthest behind. Human rights and the right-to-health framework can contribute to their effective implementation and achievement. The present report highlights the mutually reinforcing complementarities between the Goals and the right to health. It considers four issues in focus to illustrate how the right to health can help to address critical implementation gaps within the Sustainable Development Goals framework, namely, equality and non-discrimination; accountability; universal health coverage; and violence.
46. Equally, such environments exacerbate barriers to health services and result in a range of adverse consequences for poor and marginalized populations. For example, laws criminalizing drug use may drive people who use drugs from life-saving harm reduction services (target 3.3/3.5). Restrictive and punitive drug policies can deprive people suffering from pain of their right to palliative care (…)
74. Universal health coverage is a key dimension of the 2030 Agenda commitment towards achieving healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages. Goal 3 includes an explicit commitment to “achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all ” (target 3.8) and to “ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes” (target 3.7).
77. The prioritization and participation of the world’s most vulnerable is vital to both defining and achieving equitable universal health coverage. This is also consistent with core obligations under the right to health to guarantee access to health services without discrimination and to take deliberate, targeted and concrete steps to ensure the effective realization of that guarantee, especially for the most marginalized. Likewise, States have a core obligation to ensure effective and meaningful participation in the development of national health plans, including strategies for universal health coverage, that at the very minimum ensures that the views of the poor and most marginalized are incorporated. If the furthest behind are not prioritized and progressive strategies for expanding coverage for the most marginalized are not immediately established with their active participation, there is a real risk that the target could go unmet by 2030.