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About the People’s Health Movement

What is the People’s Health Movement – PHM

The PHM is a global network bringing together grassroots health activists, civil society organizations and academic institutions from around the world, particularly from low and middle income countries (L&MIC). We currently have a presence in around 70 countries. Guided by the People’s Charter for Health (PCH), PHM works on various programmes and activities and is committed to Comprehensive Primary Health Care and addressing the Social, Environmental and Economic Determinants of Health.

The world is facing a global health crisis characterized by growing inequities within and among nations and millions of preventable deaths, especially among the poor. These are in large degree due to unfair economic structures which lock people into poverty and poor health. In 2000, concerned activists, academics and health workers got together for the first People’s Health Assembly. The People’s Charter for Health (PCH), our founding document was developed and PHM was born.

The People’s Charter for Health – PCH, is the framework within which PHM acts and offers strategic guidance to the movement. It is both a tool for advocacy and a framework for action. By endorsing the Charter one becomes part of PHM. The PCH endorses the Alma Ata declaration, and affirms health as a social, economic and political issue but above all, a fundamental human right.

The Cape Town Call to Action, adopted at the Third people’s Health assembly in Cape Town, South Africa, deepens and updates the analysis in the PCH

The declaration of the Fourth People’s Health Assembly held in Bangladesh in 2018 can be found here.

Vision of PHM: “Equity, ecologically-sustainable development and peace are at the heart of our vision of a better world – a world in which a healthy life for all is a reality; a world that respects, appreciates and celebrates all life and diversity; a world that enables the flowering of people’s talents and abilities to enrich each other; a world in which people’s voices guide the decisions that shape our lives….”


  • To promote Health for All through an equitable, participatory and inter-sectoral movement and as a Rights Issue.
  • To advocate for government and other health agencies to ensure universal access to quality health care, education and social services according to people’s needs and not their ability to pay.
  • To promote the participation of people and people’s organisations in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of all health and social policies and programmes.
  • To promote health along with equity and sustainable development as top priorities in local, national and international policymaking.
  • To encourage people to develop their own solutions to local health problems.
  • To hold local authorities, national governments, international organisations and corporations accountable.

PHM is a network of networks, organisations and individuals with some centrally supported programs (for more information refer below). As a movement, we do not follow rigid structures, but broadly speaking PHM is structured as follows. Read more...

The core work of PHM is that of its constituent parts, in particular the country circles and the international networks. As a network organization, it provides communication channels and opportunities that link the very diverse elements of the larger movement. PHM Global also supports ad hoc policy work and campaigning on various issues and topics on the global policy agenda. There has been a continuous flow of publications, submissions and statements arising from this kind of policy coordination. Read more...

The PHM global governance structure aims to ensure representation of active PHM structures in the Steering Council; to encourage the development of young leadership while honouring experience; and to include principles of transparency, renewal and participation. Every 3 years, during the governance renewal process of PHM, some SC members step down to allow space for young health activists who have demonstrated commitment and capacity within their region and globally. Read more...

The PHM Handbook has been developed as part of the mandate derived from the PHM Strategic Plan 2020-2025. We quote below the purpose and description of such a handbook as it appears in the strategic plan. Read more...

In the People's Health Movement (PHM) we have been discussing for some time now the need for a tool to support movement-building at the country level, and to contribute to the creation of a global movement for health. This book is the result of this effort. A book does not build a movement... but it may help Read more...

PHM around the world