Faculty of Medical Sciences

Event items

Want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness: Beveridge’s five giants revisited from a human rights perspective

IHS and Newcastle Law School will be hosting a free conference on health inequalities and human rights.

Date/Time: 25th April 2019 08:30 - 16:45

Venue: King's Hall, Armstrong Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU

In the 1940s William Beveridge wrote a report looking at ways to heal Britain after the war. He found five important and basic problems that needed to be addressed: poverty, disease, education, housing, and employment. The findings of this report led to the birth of many public services in the UK including social security and the NHS. 

After years of austerity and in a climate of uncertainty, it is now more necessary than ever to examine the link between human rights and the social justice agenda.

This conference will be chaired by Professor Fiona Godlee, BMJ Editor and aims to explore these issues in the context of today's society in relation to human rights and health inequalities.

The conference is part of the research agenda of the IHS Article 22 project, which aims to understand the law and policy changes we need to secure economic and social rights in the UK.

Panel discussions

 The conference will include three panels which address three social rights issues at the core of Beveridge’s five giants:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Long term care

Each panel will include individuals who have first hand experience of the topic area, as well as researchers and practitioners. Panels will present the scale and nature of the issue, its impact and causes, and identify potential policy solutions. Each panel will be facilitated by an expert in the area. The panels will be followed by a roundtable discussion with MPs and City Council representatives.

Evening Lecture

Following the conference Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity and Chair of the IHS Advisory Board will deliver an evening lecture. Professor Marmot is the Immediate Past President of the World Medical Association and chaired the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health between 2005 and 2008.