230482 South Los Angeles Declaration of Health and Human Rights: Lessons for community mobilization

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 10:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Rishi Manchanda, MD MPH , Program in Social Medicine and Health Equity, St.John's Well Child and Family Centers, Los Angeles, CA
Background: Significant advancements in the protection of human rights have occurred since 1948, with the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, yet severe and growing violations and inequities persist. South Los Angeles, which includes more than one million residents, has experienced long-standing structural violence, leading to deep inequities and poor outcomes in the health care and physical environment. Thus far, vertical approaches lacking community participation, monitoring, and accountability have failed to reduce inequities and improve health in South Los Angeles. Methods: On June 5th 2009, a coalition of community groups convened the First Annual South Los Angeles Health and Human Rights Conference to apply a rights-based approach to community mobilization, policy advocacy, and the overall goal of improving health and well-being. Subsequently, community workgroups met to discuss social determinants of health and human rights in south Los Angeles, including education, employment, housing, and food security.

Results: To date, over 2000 residents and workers in south Los Angeles have participated in this community-led health and human rights process and helped draft the South Los Angeles Declaration of Health and Human Rights. Through facilitated discussions and educational workshops, community members are now developing a strategic plan to advance their policy recommendations and to measure and monitor progress. The majority of participants (80%) report an increase in knowledge and commitment to health equity and human rights framework.

Conclusions: A community-led health and human rights approach can significantly increase awareness, mobilize interdisciplinary collaboration among local advocates and residents, and inform local policy.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe central elements of health and human rights approaches. 2. Discuss the ways in which this approach improved community participation and the effectiveness of advocacy efforts in an underserved urban community. 3. Discuss the implications of “declarations” of health and human rights for community advocates and providers.

Keywords: Community Participation, Human Rights

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a full-time primary care doctor in a community health center and a co-organizer for the South Los Angeles Health and HUman Rights Initiative
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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