Health, Rights, Action is an initiative of medicusmundi mediterrània and Quepo that has more than ten years of history. So far, it has been based on awareness and advocacy about the different factors that prevent guaranteeing the right to health in the world, through cinema, theater or debate, under the gaze of the social determinants of health and the inequalities caused by them. Now the campaign adopts a stronger strategic vision as a political struggle against the violations of this fundamental right.
The new edition of the campaign maintains its traditional activities, such as the Film Showcase we organize every autumn, already consolidated among the city’s social and cultural offer. Nevertheless, this time these activities are linked to a broader process of strengthening the movements for the right to health in order to undertake networking actions with the potential to influence public policies and to encourage the role of citizens as holders of the right to health.
We carry out this process in alliance with the People’s Health Movement and the local movements Marea Blanca Catalunya (White Tide Catalunya), PASUCat (Platform for Universal Health Care in Catalonia), Xarxa de Dones per la Salut (Women for Health Network), La Capçalera, the ODG (Observatory of Debt in Globalization) and the research group GREDS-EMCONET (Pompeu Fabra University). All of them participate in the steering group that guides the entire proposal and together we will define a shared agenda to stand up for the right to health and we will launch a series of new coordinated processes of research, training, communication, advocacy and social mobilization.
The first steps to build the joint process included a preliminary exercise to diagnose the situation of the movement for the right to health, as well as the thematic priorities and advocacy activities of different platforms and civil society organizations, both in their local and international dimensions.
It is from this exercise that we identified a main thematic focus in order to think and articulate the entire process: the fight against the privatization of health and the guarantee of universal and quality access to public health services. In addition, we are committed to addressing it from the interaction with other feminist, climate and anti-racist movements, also considering the current coronavirus pandemic context and the need for strong public healthcare capable of containing this and other threats.
One of the most relevant moments of this two-year process is the organization in Barcelona of an International People’s Health University (IPHU), an activist pedagogic initiative of the People’s Health Movement, which will be held in Spain for the first time.
This IPHU aims to be a training meeting to horizontally build knowledge, exchange experiences and build community among activists from around the world, and a framework for accumulating collective power to launch an advocacy process and create practical tools to make it work. We are planning to hold it at the end of November along with decentralized activities in cities such as Girona, Tarragona and Lleida.
The essential role of citizens in the protection of public health systems is another of the great challenges that we face along the way, especially in a scenario of privatization of health and a global health emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Now more than ever, the alarm situation that we are experiencing in so many countries pushes us to claim the importance of public healthcare and to contribute, from the different campaign activities, to empower citizens and encourage their active participation in defense of the right to health.
The program “Health, Rights, Action” is supported by the Barcelona City Council and the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation (ACCD).
Estel Peix Feliu
Education for Global Justice
Translate by: Frederique Vilter and Francesc Alvarez