‘The Globalisation of Nursing: Ethical, Legal and Political Issues’ University of Surrey 10 11 July 2006: A summary of the deliberations of the concurrent working groups
When we examine aspects of the globalization of nursing from ethical, legal and political perspectives, human rights comes to the fore as the concept on which other ideals and plans for concrete action must necessarily be based. This became evident in the discussions of the concurrent working groups at this year’s conference at the International Centre for Nursing Ethics. Nurses need to understand what the fundamental human rights of every person in the world ought to be, regardless of where they live, or what their religion or skin colour is. Nurses play a role in ensuring that these rights are respected, and support the struggle of those people who do not have the rights or the respect that should go with it. Globalization of the nursing work-force means that nurses travel to work in numerous developed and developing countries of the world. In many of these countries the human rights of patients are not respected, either by governments or public and private organizations; the nurses themselves may not be able to demand their human rights as individuals. Once nurses have developed an understanding of the human rights that determine the place of their patients and of themselves in the world, they need to develop plans for how they can actively promote these rights in their daily work and what to do when they are infringed. The disparities in standards of health care and in access to health care are of major concern for nurses everywhere; their human rights work must be aimed at alleviating and eradicating these. The theme of International Nurses Day, 14 May 2004, was the eradication of poverty and hunger. At the time, 50% of the world’s population lived on less than $2 a day, 1.2 billion people did not have access to safe water, 24 000 people a...