The Right of the Child to Oral Health: The Role of Human Rights in Oral Health Policy Development in Australia

Gillian Jean, Estie Kruger, Vanessa Lok, Marc Tennant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Marginalised and vulnerable children bear the burden of untreated dental disease in Australia. The lack of progress in improving the oral health of these groups signifies a need to review the effectiveness of existing child oral health policy. The current approach to oral health policy design in Australia is inconsistent and discriminatory across States and Territories. This implies that the right to health does not have a major influence in policy drafting. This article seeks to develop a stronger understanding of the obligations pursuant to ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in progressively realising the right to the highest attainable standard of health and to the benefits of redesigning child oral health policy to conform to a Human Rights-Based Approach to health system planning. Child oral health policy would be improved by the appointment of a Chief Dental Officer to coordinate oral health policy nationally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-228
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Law and Medicine
Volume28
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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