First Responders with a Rights-Based Approach to Mental Health Crises

Tamar Ezer and Denise Tomasini-Joshi The United States, with its inadequate social safety net and lack of community-based mental health resources, has come to rely on the criminal legal system to respond to mental health needs. “The mental health system is largely broken across the country. We’ve tried to paper over it by funding law enforcement.”[1] This has transformed mental health into a law enforcement matter, with people with mental…

A Healthy Environment Becomes a Human Right 

News UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has called on states to take bold actions to give prompt and real effect to the right to a healthy environment, following a UN Human Rights Council’s landmark decision to recognise a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a human right. The Human Rights Council also increased its focus on the human rights impacts of climate change by establishing a Special…

Johnson & Johnson, Vaccine Apartheid, and Human Rights

A. Kayum Ahmed, Achal Prabhala, Julia Greenberg, Ames Dhai, and Usuf Chikte Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) decision to export COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in South Africa and India to Europe, ahead of supplying both countries or their respective continents, contradicts the company’s publicly declared commitment to widening access to health care and to human rights. Given that less than 2% of Africans and about 15% of Indians are fully vaccinated, compared…

Applying Human Rights and Reducing Coercion in Psychiatry following Service User-Led Education: A Qualitative Study

Susanna Every-Palmer, Leah Kininmonth, Giles Newton-Howes, and Sarah Gordon Abstract Despite the imperatives to reduce coercive practices such as substitute decision-making, seclusion, and restraint, the psychiatric profession has struggled to realize these aspirations. Education delivered by people with lived experience of mental distress can help facilitate change. We introduced a service user-led academic program for psychiatry residents focused on promoting human rights and reducing coercive practices in mental health care.…

Charting the Rights of Community Health Workers in India: The Next Frontier of Universal Health Coverage

Janani Shanthosh, Andrea Durbach, and Rohina Joshi Abstract Community health workers (CHWs) have the capacity to bring essential health services to under-resourced communities. Globally, CHWs have made significant contributions to poverty alleviation, increased food security, and reductions in health inequalities. India’s one million accredited social health activists (ASHAs), the largest cohort of CHWs in the world, have been credited with increasing the rate of institutional deliveries and the uptake of…

Trans-institutionalisation in Ireland: New and Emerging Congregated Settings for People with Disabilities

Gautam Gulati, Alan Cusack, Brendan D. Kelly, Valerie E. Murphy, Shane Kilcommins, and Colum P. Dunne The use of congregated settings to accommodate people with disabilities in Ireland may be in breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The report of the Health Service Executive (Ireland’s public health provider) working group on congregated settings in 2011 called for immediate action to provide community support…

Inequity is an Iniquity: Speaking Up for Aspiring African Researchers

Adelaide M. Lusambili and Constance S. Shumba   The careers of aspiring low- and middle-income country (LMIC) researchers follow a remarkably similar path. Many of these researchers-in-training are able and eager to understand the dynamics of health issues in their own societies. Many want to undertake research to find solutions to the chronic health problems and service deficits that beset their countries. And many possess great insight about the populations…

Letter to the Editor: The Nicaragua Example

Lori Hanson In Lies, Damned Lies, and “Official Statistics” authors Maria Gargiulo and Megan Price offer an important reminder of the inherent difficulty and potential danger in collecting data and providing information to the public during a pandemic, using examples from both authoritarian right-wing and authoritarian ‘left’ regimes in Latin America. They propose similarities to the work of collecting data in conflict situations. The story behind at least one of…

Discrimination as WeChat deletes LGBTQIA+ accounts in China

Geeta Moni  Tencent’s WeChat social media network has blocked dozens of LGBTQIA+ university student profiles, saying that some had broken internet information guidelines, prompting worries of a crackdown on gay content online. The social media site has deactivated accounts linked to the LGBTQIA+ community and university-based LGBTQIA+ groups. In response to the termination of their accounts, Fudan University’s Zhihe Society said “Our activities will not stop due to the closure. On the…

Ghosting Palestine: Hiding Health and Human Rights Violations

Alice Rothchild Journals in the medical, social, and political sciences have begun to highlight an appreciation of structural racism, and the personal and public health costs of bigotry and chronic stress. For oppressed populations, understanding these forces is critical to the establishment of basic human rights, including the right to health in its broadest sense: access to health services, clean water, sanitation, nutrition, housing, education, employment, and freedom of movement.…