The fight for the human right to health in the COVID-19 pandemic: the political participation of social movements
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Instituto Unimed-Rio, Brazil
Faculdade de Direito Milton Campos, Brazil
Faculdade de Medicina Souza Marques (FTESM), Brazil
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A513
Background and Objective: Social movements are the root of struggles for the recognition of human rights, which means that these are the fruits of historical struggles for access to material and immaterial goods that are indispensable for a life with dignity. The objective is to survey and analyze the performance of social movements in the construction and realization of the human right to health during COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Based on a narrative review of the literature, a critical analysis was carried out on the Brazilian Sanitary Reform Movement (BSRM), the Declaration of Human Rights and the Brazilian Federal Constitution (CFB/88), and the concept of the “Right Found in the Street”, as bases for the discussion of three social movements that emerged in the pandemic. Results: 1st The BSRM emerged in the 1970s, with social movements against the dictatorship, from the interaction between students, intellectuals, health workers and the popular classes, acting as a strong protagonist in the process that generated the CFB/88 and the Unified Health System/1990. 2nd Law can emerge on the street and legality must also emerge from formality, with the participation of civil society, targeting to achieve democratic legitimacy in decision-making. 3rd Thus, the right to health was implemented during pandemic with the participation of slum residents’ associations of Paraisópolis/São Paulo, Complexo do Alemão and Morro da Mangueira/Rio de Janeiro, highlighting the hiring of ambulances to assist symptomatic patients and the collection and distribution of food baskets, water and hygiene products. Conclusions: Social movements can be agents for building the human right to health, at any time, without disregarding other civil society sectors and the international community. It is necessary to recognize and value the micropolitics constituted in the daily life of the territories, facilitating the political participation of social movements in the right’s struggle.