- About HHR
Tamar Ezer and Judy Overall
Health and Human Rights 2013, 15/2
Background: In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, for society’s most marginalized people, health systems are too often places of violations of basic rights, rather than of treatment and care. At the same time, health practitioners are largely unaware of how to incorporate human rights norms in their work. Additionally, they may face abuses themselves, such as unsafe working conditions and sanctions for providing evidence-based care. Similarly, legal professionals have limited experience working in the health sector, trying to address abuses that occur.
Context: Republics of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia have emerged from communism and experienced continued restructuring of their health care systems. As faculties of law, public health, and medicine have sought to incorporate these rapid changes into their curricula, this period of reform and openness to new approaches presented a particular opportunity to integrate human rights education.
Results: The Open Society Foundations have attempted to respond to the need to build health and human rights capacity by supporting the development of over 25 courses in human rights in patient care in nine countries. Targeted at different audiences, these courses are now part of the regular offerings at the academic institutions where they are taught. Student evaluations point to the strength of the interdisciplinary approach and the need to integrate practical examples and exercises. Faculty response has led to the development of a virtual community of practice and series of workshops to gain exposure to new ideas, strengthen interactive teaching, and share materials and experiences.
Reflections: Critical to this initiative has been working with faculty champions in each university, who shaped this initiative to meet the needs in their context. It quickly became apparent that teaching methodology is as important as content in human rights education. Meaningful engagement with health practitioners has entailed connections to day-to-day practice, participatory methodology, inclusion of marginalized voices, and linkages to provider rights and challenges.
Papers In Press
Transforming Policy into Justice: The Role of Health Advocates in Mozambique
Ellie Feinglass, Nadja Gomes, and Vivek Maru
Reproductive Health Policy in Tunisia: Women's Right to Reproductive Health and Gender Empowerment
Nada Amroussia, Alison Hernandez, and Isabel Goicolea
Harvard FXB Health and Human Rights Consortium Student Essay Competition:
Human Rights, Law and Abortion in El Salvador
Lessons from Jonathan Mann: The Ten Commandments on Multidrug-Resistant TB
- UN Report Adds to Momentum for Medicines Reform
- To Choose Peace is to Choose Health
- Human Rights Remain Critical to HIV Responses: Health and Human Rights Call for Papers
- NHS ruling addresses inequality in access to medicines
- Discrimination against Roma populations to receive special attention in Health and Human Rights Journal
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