The Significance of Collective Rights to Public Health Development: The Case of Oromia Regional State in Ethiopia

Begna Dugassa, PhD,
Oromo Studies Association, Mississauga, Canada

Abstract

Colonialism is a violation of the collective rights of people. This violation has denied them the right to decide on their social, economic, political, cultural and environmental rights. This has hindered them from building their social, economic, political, cultural and environmental capitals and achieving the highest possible level of physical and social well-being. The essence of collective rights includes the social, economic, political, cultural and environmental rights; all of them are essential to the development of public health. First, as the violation of social rights is an attack on the social wellbeing of people, so the violation of economic rights is an attack on the economic wellbeing. Second, the violation of political rights is taking away the decision making power. The violation of cultural rights is obstructing societies from culturally reproducing themselves and developing problem-solving skills. The violation of environmental rights has caused severe degradation of the natural environment. Violations of those rights act individually and synergistically and hinder the development of public health. The efforts the Oromo people make to assert their collective rights are part-and-parcel of building their social, economic, political, cultural and environmental capacities and promoting health and preventing diseases.

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