Why are we counting down to October 25?

Article 25.

Have you heard of it?

Most likely not yet. It’s an exciting new health justice initiative designed to put pressure on the world’s governments to the honor the right to health as described in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

(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 and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. (www.un.org)

1 de septiembre photo 1
Children in the rural Andes, like this school group in Kelccanka, would benefit from greater access to the resources outlined in Article 25.

On October 25, 2014 there will be rallies run by public health and health-activist organizations on all continents, supported by the Article 25 Education Fund.  As for Sacred Valley Health, we’re organizing a participatory art project in Ollantaytambo to promote awareness of health inequities in Peru, where the limited reach of the health system is exacerbated in areas where beneficiaries are politically disenfranchised.

For some context, here’s a quick history lesson. In 1948, in the wake of the Second World War, the then-new United Nations drafted and signed into law the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration was meant to set worldwide standards, but we are a long way from achieving the vision of the drafting committee.

In rural communities in Peru, environmental factors such as poor sanitation and educational infrastructure limit the achievement of the goals articulated in Article 25.
In rural communities in Peru, environmental factors such as poor sanitation and educational infrastructure limit the achievement of the goals articulated in Article 25.

On Article 25’s Global Day of Action, participating organizations will ask world leaders to commit to the right to health as described in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to fight for the provision of high quality health care to all people. In Peru, the Ministry of Health aspires to providing good health care to all Peruvians. However, the reality is that many poor, rural people live far from clinics, and too often those clinics suffer from personnel and resource constraints that result in a low standard of care. We still have a long way to go, and non-profits like Sacred Valley Health are crucial for filling the gaps while governments slowly expand and improve their systems.

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Is your organization interested in joining Article 25’s efforts? You can read more about the initiative at www.join25.org or check them out on Facebook. You’ll also learn more also by following our blog in the next few weeks. Leading up to October 25 we will be providing a preview of our Article 25 project, posting an interview conducted with Article 25 leaders, and sharing more about the state of health and healthcare in Peru. At the very least, please check back on October 25 to see how our health- and art-activism project panned out!

– Written by Community Coordinator Katherine Un

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