270317 Global Trade and Health Activism: A Report from the People's Health Assembly

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 3:16 PM - 3:30 PM

Shelley K. White, MPH, PhD , Health Sciences & Public Health, Worcester State University, Worcester, MA
Jonathan White, PhD , Department of Sociology, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA
In 2000, at the first People's Health Assembly (PHA), the People's Charter for Health was created as a tool for global health activism to realize the promise of Alma Ata of primary health care for all. Within the progressive framework of this charter, it is prominently recognized that the policies of global trade and lending, and the unfettered activities of transnational corporations, negatively shape health and healthcare access. The charter calls for a global people's health movement to, amongst other goals, reformulate global trading systems to respect and protect social, economic, environmental and health rights of all people. The third PHA, scheduled for July 2012, is expected to bring together 1200 health activists from around the world particularly from the global south to Cape Town, South Africa, wherein trade and health will be a central theme. This paper provides a brief history of global trade and health activism, highlighting traditional obstacles facing such transnational health-based social movements. It will then report on the trade-focused activities of the PHA3 meeting, and will outline the common organizing principles and goals identified for coordinating global trade and health activism. This paper will also present the educational approach developed by the International People's Health University (IPHU), which organizes short courses and other learning opportunities for health activist from around the world. The IPHU will run a short course for health activists to precede the PHA3, which will create a setting for collaborative learning and action planning on global trade and health challenges.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Discuss ongoing challenges for collaborative global trade and health justice work. Identify strategies for formulating global responses to trade and health challenges. Cite specific examples of learning approaches for trade and health activism.

Keywords: Social Justice, Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I research and teach about the political economy of health, including trade and health issues. I am also regularly involved with global health networks working on these issues, including (as relevant to this abstract) the People's Health Movement. I have been involved as a leader, including as Chair, Secretary and Program Planner, of the APHA's Trade and Health Forum over 4 1/2 years.
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.