We are witnessing a number of serious challenges in relation to health including a change in disease patterns, some of which are lifestyle-related as well as increasing health inequalities within and between states. Additionally, many countries are struggling with the detrimental health effects of environmental degradation, climate change, international migration, urbanization and internal conflicts. This is affecting the health and wellbeing of individuals worldwide, especially those who are marginalised and disadvantaged.
International law can play an important role in addressing the above-mentioned concerns. However contrary to, for example, international trade law and international humanitarian law, international or global health law is not a coherent field of international law. The health-related standards are very fragmented and there is no overall international recognition of international or global health law as a distinct branch of international law. Moreover, these standards insufficiently emphasise equal access to and distribution of health services and the establishment of overall fairness in health.
The Global Health Law Research Centre of the University of Groningen (GHLG) focuses on these challenges through the lens of international law. It focuses in particular on issues such as global and domestic health inequalities, infectious and chronic diseases, access to medicines, reproductive health, accountability in the health system, and migrant health.