The article examines the convergences and contrasts between social epidemiology, social medicine, and human rights approaches toward advancing global health and health equity. The first section describes the goals and work of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health. The second section discusses the role of human rights in the Commission's work. The third section evaluates, from the perspective of social epidemiology, two rights-based approaches to advancing health and health equity as compared to a view that focuses more broadly on social justice. The concluding section identifies four areas where social epidemiologists, practitioners of social medicine, and health and human rights advocates can and must work together in order to make progress on health and health equity.
Copyright © 2010 Venkatapuram, Bell, and Marmot. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.