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World Health Day

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This is a guest post by Constance Johnson, a senior legal research analyst at the Law Library of Congress.  Constance has previously written on Water Rights on Star Island, Law Relating to Refugee Rights – Global Legal Collection Highlights, and most recently on her summer vacation on Star Island.

April 7, 2016, is World Health Day. While not a popular major holiday (so no gifts, candies, or decorations, unfortunately), it is an important day for the World Health Organization (WHO). This year WHO is focusing on diabetes. The goal is to increase prevention efforts, strengthen provision of care, and enhance surveillance. It is also a good moment to look at international law as it applies to health concerns in a world made smaller by frequent travel and with new cross-border health threats, such as the zika virus.

International health law includes both regulations and framework conventions. WHO has published the International Health Regulations, as adopted in 1969 and amended through 2005. The regulations came into force in this form in 2007. Notable among the framework documents is the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. As of 2015, there were 180 states that were parties to this framework convention.

The Library contains numerous works on the subject of global health law, some general and others focusing on specific locations or aspects of health. Among the recent volumes are:

Alemanno, Alberto & Amandine Garde. Regulating Lifestyle Risks: The EU, Alcohol, Tobacco and Unhealthy Diets. 376 pp. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Durojaye, Ebenezer, ed. Litigating the Right to Health in Africa: Challenges and Prospects. 288 pp. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015.

Freeman, Michael, Sarah Hawkes, & Belinda Bennett, eds. Law and Global Health: Current Legal Issues. 639 pp. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Kanter, Arlene S. The Development of Disability Rights Under International Law: From Charity to Human Rights. 351 pp. New York: Routledge, 2015.

Kelly, Brendan. Dignity, Mental Health, and Human Rights: Coercion and the Law. 216 pp. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015.

Ludhra, Subash. Common Sense Guide to International Health and Safety. 121 pp. New York: Routledge, 2015.

Rose, Rachel, Jonathan P. Tomes, & Lance H. Rose. What Are International HIPAA: Considerations? 66 pp. Chicago: American Bar Association, 2015.

Rubin, Leslie & Joav Merrick, eds. Environment and Public Health: Environmental Health, Law and International Perspectives. 215 pp. New York: Nova Publishers, 2015.

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