The Local Relevance of Human Rights Cambridge University Press | April 2, 2009Read the Publication
Peru is one of a handful of countries in the world to have witnessed the emergence of a multi-issue, multi-group movement for health rights, where health is conceived by multiple actors working in synergy as a crucial domain through which to struggle for social transformation. In this article, we examine how concepts underlying a rights framework were taken up in connection with health and played out in the particular context of Peru under the authoritarian regime of Alberto Fujimori. We also reflect on, challenges to solidifying a rights-based health movement in Peru, which contain lessons for the prospects for rights-based health movements elsewhere. We argue here that a
particular confluence of actors and events in Peru at the turn of the century only partially explains the integration of health into the struggle for democratization and the shape the rights-based health movement took. Transnational forces were also playing out on the Peruvian stage, both in terms of political and economic policies (and reactions to them), and patterns of funding and institutional support available at critical times. It is essential to consider the role of these transnational factors in order to understand the process of localizing struggles for health rights in Peru, and the challenges that rights-based health movements face in sustaining and consolidating themselves, in Peru and elsewhere.