Session Chairs and Speakers: Tony Waterston, MD, FRCPCH, DCH, DRCOG, and Jeffrey Goldhagen, MD, MPH, FAAP
In the 1980s, Robert Haggerty, MD, coined and began to use the phrase “new morbidity” to describe the “new” health issues that were affecting children in the United States at that time. If there is a “new, new morbidity” that defines the health of contemporary children in the United States and the United Kingdom, then social determinism, health equity, and children’s rights must lay claim to this moniker. Social determinants, among which include social, economic, political, and environmental factors, constitute the new epidemiology of child health. Health equity establishes the goal of pediatrics to eliminate global disparities in the health status of children. Human rights, and in particular children’s rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, define a new approach to deal with the evolving determinants of child health in our respective countries. The articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child characterize the fundamental prerequisites for child health. The role of pediatrics in general and community pediatrics and community pediatricians in particular must expand to engage advocacy, policy development, social science research, etc, as essential elements of the practice of pediatrics.
The following articles provide perspective on global and local issues affecting the rights and health of children. They provide a lens to focus and clarify the relevance of children’s rights to the global health of children. Tony Waterston, MD, FRCPCH, DCH, DRCOG, will discuss global issues affecting the rights of children and in particular the impact of globalization on children. Jeffrey Goldhagen, MD, MPH, FAAP, will discuss the application of children’s rights to the care of children in the United States and the United Kingdom.