The universal right to health is anchored in a number of international conventions, the most detailed being article 12 in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
. In addition, the fourth Geneva Convention
highlights the duty of an occupying power in relation to health (which includes the obligation to protect freedom of movement for both medical personnel and patients in need, to protect hospitals, and to supply medical services at the same level as to one’s own citizens).
PHR-Israel relies upon and strives towards the standards recognized in international law. The State of Israel is obligated by international human rights law to protect the rights of all people under its effective control, and by further provisions of international humanitarian law, regulating protection of civilians in occupied territory and the conduct of armed conflict. Israel is a signatory to, and has ratified many relevant international treaties, and is therefore bound by their provisions. Furthermore, certain obligations can be found in customary international law, which binds all states regardless of the existence of a signed treaty obligation. Despite the above, the State of Israel regularly and systematically abuses human rights, making a mockery of its legal obligations.
PHR-Israel condemns Israel’s disregard for international human rights law, and acts continuously, through public advocacy and legal means, to bring Israel to abide by its obligations. Relevant treaties and conventions of human rights and humanitarian law, as well as explanations and commentaries relating to them, can be found in this section. Focus is placed upon articles of particular significance to PHR-Israel’s work, such as those relating to the right to health.