Organisation Internationale de Droit du Développement

77th World Health Assembly | Agenda Item 15.1

Statement by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO)

Agenda Item 15.1 – Social Determinants of Health
30 May, 2024

Thank you, Chair.

The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) commends the World Health Organization for its commitment to addressing the complex interplay of social, economic, and environmental factors that significantly impact health outcomes.

Every social determinant of health has a legal aspect, making appropriate legal frameworks and legal capacity essential to addressing these health determinants. Legal frameworks grounded in human rights and justice are pivotal in tackling barriers to health services and ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their socio-economic status, can live healthy lives.

Since 2009, IDLO has supported countries’ investments in the rule of law to tackle HIV, noncommunicable diseases and public health emergencies. We have seen how vulnerability to the consequences of illness and injury is frequently determined by prevailing social, environmental, and economic conditions.  And we have seen how the quality of national legal frameworks plays an essential role in managing those vulnerabilities. 

Nonetheless, the widespread use of these rule of law tools to improve sustainable development and address the social determinants of health remains underexploited. Strengthening policies and legal and regulatory frameworks that promote the right to health, empower communities, and enhance participation of civil society are key to addressing the social determinants of health.

IDLO encourages Member States to further integrate the rule of law into policies, programmes, and strategies to address the social determinants of health. We remain committed to support the WHO, Member States, and partners to strengthen the rule of law and increase awareness and implementation of the existing human rights frameworks to reduce health inequities and advance sustainable development.