EDITORIAL Human Rights for Health across the United Nations

PDF Benjamin Mason Meier and Lawrence O. Gostin Introduction The United Nations (UN) plays a central role in realizing human rights to advance global health. Looking beyond state obligations, the UN has called on all its specialized agencies to mainstream human rights across all their activities. With globalization compelling these UN institutions to meet an expanding set of global challenges to underlying determinants of health, human rights are guiding these…

The Universal Periodic Review: A Valuable New Procedure for the Right to Health?

PDF Judith Bueno De Mesquita Abstract The right to health has been cast in increasingly broad terms in international human rights law, not only as a right to health care but also as a right to an ever more broad range of underlying and social determinants of health. Utilizing an analytical framework grounded in this broad view of the right to health, this article presents the findings of an empirical…

“Hay que tener suerte”: Gender-based Violence Service Provision in Quito, Ecuador

PDF Chiara Sabina and Diego Pérez Figueroa Abstract This study utilized the United Nations’ Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence, a technical guidebook on quality services in line with human rights declarations, to examine the characteristics of availability, accessibility, adaptability, and appropriateness from the viewpoint of 21 victim service users in Quito, Ecuador. Availability was evidenced by warm service providers willing to aid victims but was…

The Right(s) Road to Universal Health Coverage

PDF Helena Nygren-Krug Abstract The political momentum around universal health coverage (UHC) provides a welcome opportunity to scale up efforts to dismantle barriers to accessing health services and to create enabling environments for people to thrive and be healthy. However, UHC lacks sufficient clarity, both conceptually and operationally, to generate the societal transformation required to ensure its successful implementation in countries. This article argues that both the messaging and the…

They Are Girls, Not Mothers: The Violence of Forcing Motherhood on Young Girls in Latin America

PDF Ximena Casas Abstract Rape of girls under the age of 14 is common in Latin America, and forced pregnancy and motherhood among these girls is a major public health and human rights problem. Even though abortion in the case of rape is legal in a handful of the countries in the region, and is legal in most countries when the life or health of the pregnant woman is in…

EDITORIAL 25 Years: Exploring the Health and Human Rights Journey

PDF Carmel Williams, Joseph J. Amon, Mary T. Bassett, Ana V. Diez Roux, and Paul E. Farmer Dedication: to founding editor Jonathan Mann and to Albina du Boisrouvray, who, as Mann wrote in his first editorial, “immediately understood, provided the means, and continues to share ideas and inspiration with us.” A true history of any movement makes for a rich, complex, and often contradictory story. Partial stories are easier to…

From the Grassroots to the Oireachtas: Abortion Law Reform in the Republic of Ireland

PDF Anna Carnegie and Rachel Roth Abstract In 1983, voters inserted the Eighth Amendment into Ireland’s constitution, equating the right to life of a fetus with that of a pregnant person. Hundreds of thousands of women were forced overseas to access basic health care and thousands more were forced underground, importing abortion pills and risking prosecution. The realities of life under the Eighth Amendment sparked a powerful feminist grassroots struggle…

EDITORIAL The Limits of the Law: Abortion in the Middle East and North Africa

PDF Irene Maffi and Liv Tønnessen Since the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994, sexual and reproductive health and rights have been recognized as key parts of the international development agenda. They now form part of two Sustainable Development Goals: numbers 3 (on good health and well-being) and 5 (on gender equality and empowerment). Although the ICPD’s final report did not recognize abortion as a…

The Challenge of Interdisciplinarity in Operationalizing the Right to Health

PDF Gillian MacNaughton and Mariah McGill Abstract Interdisciplinary collaboration between the health and human rights communities is essential to operationalize the right to health. In practice, however, such collaboration has been infrequent. As noted by Jonathan Mann et al., the fields of health and human rights have “differing philosophical perspectives, vocabularies, professional recruitment and training, societal roles, and methods of work.” These differences have posed barriers to interdisciplinary collaboration. This…

UHC2030’s Contributions to Global Health Governance that Advance the Right to Health Care: A Preliminary Assessment

PDF Rachel Hammonds, Gorik Ooms, Moses Mulumba, and Allan Maleche Abstract The September 2019 United Nations High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) aims to mobilize top-level political support for action on UHC to advance the health Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). A driving force behind this meeting is the “UHC Movement,” led by UHC2030, which focuses on coordinating and amplifying efforts by WHO, the World Bank, civil society, and the…