In key areas, U.S. protections for constitutional rights fall behind peer nations

Right to health map
<em>WORLD Policy Analysis Center/UCLA</em>

New research by the WORLD Policy Analysis Center at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health shows that the United States is falling behind its peer nations in guaranteeing key constitutional rights. Researchers identified critical gaps in the U.S., including guarantees of the right to health, gender equality and rights for persons with disabilities.

The analysis of all 193 United Nations' member state constitutions found protections have expanded around the world over the past 50 years. But as hate speech, discrimination and divisive rhetoric have become more prominent, constitutional gaps remain that leave millions vulnerable and without core human rights protections.

"The new decade begins with clear constitutional gaps that place the United States in a global minority for failing to provide constitutional protections for a right to health care or gender equality," said Jody Heymann, founding director of WORLD and a UCLA distinguished professor of public health, public policy and medicine. "And major global gaps remain in the U.S. and elsewhere when it comes to ensuring rights for people with disabilities, migrants and members of the LGBTQ+ community."

Read the full news release >

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