Document Type: Commentary
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
In their commentary, Haik Nikogosian and Ilona Kickbusch argue for the necessity of new binding international legal instruments for health to address complex health determinants and offer a cogent analysis of the implications of such treaties for future global health governance. Yet in doing so they pay no attention to the existing instrumentarium of international legally binding treaties relevant to health, in the form of human rights treaties. International human rights law has entrenched individual entitlements and state obligations in relation to individual and public health through iterative human rights treaties since 1946. These treaties offer normative specificity, institutional monitoring and the possibility of enforcement and accountability. If we are to build a new ‘international health instrumentariam’ we should not ignore existing and important tools that can assist in this endeavor.