Vol 22, 2013 Annals of Health Law 375
UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE IN MEXICO
rights. Second generation rights are comprised of economic, social and
cultural rights. Finally, third generation rights have been labeled solidarity
First generation rights were the product of the victory of liberalism in the
French Revolution and were embodied in the Declaration of the Rights of
Man and of the Citizen, and eventually in all constitutional texts of the
Western world.9 They are the civil and political rights of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.10 They protect an individual’s freedom from
the unfounded intrusion by governments and private organizations, and
guarantee one’s ability to participate in the civil and political life of the
state. They include the right to life, freedom of thought, speech, religion
and movement, equality before the law, right to a fair trial, due process,
freedom of association, and the right to vote.
Second generation rights are known as economic, social and cultural
rights. They include labor rights, right to housing, right to education, and
right to health care. They originated in the 1917 Mexican Constitution and
the 1919 Weimar Constitution, as well as in the post-World War I
constitutions.11 Some of these rights are recognized by the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, but its primary international legal source is
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966.12
There is a crucial difference between first and second-generation human
rights related to the participation of the State in their enforcement. In the
case of civil and political rights, which protect individual liberty, the
participation of the State in their exercise should be limited, and its active
participation is only justified if someone transgresses or breaches this
liberty. For this reason they are called negative rights.13 In contrast, the
enforcement of second-generation human rights demands the involvement
pdf/13/9780199540846_chapter1.pdf (last visited Jan. 25, 2013).
9. RHONDA A. CALLAWAY & JULIE HARRELSON-STEPHENS, WHAT ARE HUMAN RIGHTS?
in EXPLORING INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS: ESSENTIAL READINGS, 1-3 (Rhonda
A. Callaway & Julie Harrelson-Stephens eds., 2007), available at https://www.rienner.com/
10. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, G. A. Res. 217 (Ill) A, U.N. Doc.A/RES/
217(Ill) (Dec. 10, 1948), available at http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml.
11. NATIONALCENTER ONHUMANRIGHTSINFORMATION ANDDOCUMENTATION,
CLASSIFICATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS 3 available at http://tandis.odihr.pl/documents/hre-
E%20Package%20Textbook%20Tajistkan%20ENG.pdf (last visited Mar. 27, 2013).
12. See generally UN General Assembly, International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights, 993 United Nations Treaty Series (1966), available at
http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3ae6b36c0.html (last visited Jan. 25, 2013).
13. See Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, Aug. 26 1789, available at