BMC International Health and Human Rights announces its revised scope

BMC International Health and Human Rights, as a niche journal in its field which provides a home for human rights issues related to health, announces its newly revised scope and its mission to advance research and debate in this area on an international scale.

The right to health was first brought to light as a social right in the World Health Organization (WHO) Constitution (1946) and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) where the obligation of understanding health as a human right emerged to ensure that, not only should there be access to essential medicines and affordable health care, but there should also be the provision of basic determinants of health such as food, housing, sanitation, safe water and health-related education to all.

The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition

-The States Parties to the WHO Constitution

With the interest in human rights issues having grown exponentially in recent years, BMC International Health and Human Rights provides a niche home for work which is carried out to communicate, across various disciplines and geographical boundaries, human rights issues related to health. The journal also welcomes debate pieces, important for stimulating discussion and further research.

In highlighting BMC International Health and Human Rights as a forum for activists, practitioners and academics from human rights, public health and related fields, we are delighted to announce the revised scope of the journal:

BMC International Health and Human Rights is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on the influences of human rights violations on health in developing and transitional countries, as well as all issues relating to the impact of health policies, programs and practices on human rights.

The journal is separated into the following sections, each with its own focus on core subject areas under the umbrella of health and human rights:

Health and human rights of marginalized populations


Disadvantaged and marginalised populations tend to be excluded from what may be considered by them to be the luxury of enjoying good health. This section of the journal considers studies regarding the health and human rights of members of marginalized populations, including sexual and gender minorities, children, migrants, ethnic minorities, refugees, displaced people, commercial sex workers, injection drug users, and other marginalized populations.

Healthcare availability, practices and development

Healthcare needs to be both available and accessible to all. Together with the need for a sufficient quantity of health care facilities, goods, services and programs, barriers of accessibility to these services should be identified and addressed. This section considers studies addressing all aspects of access to and availability of healthcare, healthcare knowledge, practices, and beliefs, as well as studies of healthcare development and training in rural and/or developing areas.

Prison, violence, and conflict


Harmful traditional practices, torture, trafficking, violence against women, and violence against children are just a few of the various forms of violence which have been recognized as human rights issues. Freedom from violence and conflict is a fundamental human right. This section considers studies regarding the health and human rights of prison inmates and victims of violence, war, and civil conflict.

Healthcare policy and law

A rights-based approach to health requires that health policy must prioritize the needs of those furthest behind first towards greater equity. Standards in both law and policy are required to address barriers to healthcare. This section considers studies regarding the impact of international and national policies on healthcare for individuals and communities.


As one of the world’s most fatal communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects the world’s poorest populations, and in many cases, its effects are intensified by other factors such as gender, age, sexual orientation or gender identity and migration status. This section of the journal considers studies regarding all aspects of healthcare provision for and the social aspects of HIV/AIDS in developing countries, including awareness, stigma, prevention and treatment.


BMC International Health and Human Rights is recruiting Associate Editors for the above sections, to join its mission in promoting a global movement for health and human rights by publishing important and stimulating work in this field. If you are interested in joining our Editorial Board, please visit the following page for more information. Furthermore, if you are carrying out work in any of the above areas and are interested in submitting your work to the journal, please contact us or, alternatively, submit your article via the following link.

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