National Association of County and City Health Officials, June 27, 2001


Resolution 01-10, Adopted on June 27, 2001

WHEREAS, the mission of public health is "to fulfill society's interest in assuring conditions in which people can be healthy";[1] and

WHEREAS, "the values that underlie public health are the values of human rights and there is an undeniable relationship between individual rights, human dignity, and the human condition";[2] and

WHEREAS, Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, states "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his/her family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care";[3] and

WHEREAS, "Vigilance to prevent human rights violations and to ensure social justice for all people is essential to the advancement of human development and the prevention of human suffering";[4] and

WHEREAS, according to the World Health Organization, more than 40 percent of all people who died in the world died prematurely, in part due to major inequalities in access to basic human needs, poverty, poor sanitary conditions, and violence;[5]

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) will advocate for the protection of human rights and social justice as a guiding principle in public health practice, research and policies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NACCHO will work to incorporate human rights, social justice, and efforts to eliminate disparities in health status into public health curricula, workforce development initiatives, and program evaluation measures; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NACCHO will collaborate with partner organizations, government agencies, global initiatives, and community groups in the prevention of human suffering and the promotion of social justice, health, equity, and sustainable development.

Note: See related NACCHO Resolution 99-05, Resolution to Eliminate Health Disparities

Proposed by NACCHO Environmental Health and Prevention Committee and NACCHO Community Health and Prevention Committee

Adopted by NACCHO Board of Directors June 27, 2001

[1] Institute of Medicine, The Future of Public Health. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1988.

[2] Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, July 14, 1992) ILM. 1992; 31:873.

[3] Note, this was also echoed in the constitution of the World Health Organization and was ratified by subsequent international covenants and conventions.

[4] American Journal of Public Health, May 2000, Vol. 90 No. 5, Rosalia Rodriguez-Garcia, PhD, MSc, Mohammad N. Akhter, MD, MPH

[5] World Health Organization. World Health Report. Geneva, 1998