NEW HHRJ SERIES: Calling for blogs on SDGs, Accountability, and the Right to Health

Robust accountability processes and mechanisms are an essential component of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In our recent SDG SERIES, contributors repeatedly called for human rights to underpin these processes and mechanisms. In response, the Health and Human Rights Journal is now calling for contributions for a new series of blogs on “SDGs, Accountability, and the Right to Health.” Contributions may explore practical and procedural interpretations arising from an…

Mary Robinson Introduces the COP21 SERIES: Climate change, COP21, and the right to health

Introduction by Mary Robinson I am delighted to welcome and launch this Health and Human Rights Journal series on climate change, COP21 and the right to health. The initiative is timely; on Monday October 19, 2015, climate negotiators will reconvene in Bonn, Germany, for the final five days of negotiations before the Conference of Parties (COP21) begins in Paris on November 30. This is an incredibly important year; 2015 could…

Involuntary Civil Commitment for Substance Use Disorders in Puerto Rico: Neglected Rights Violations and Implications for Legal Reform

Caroline M. Parker, Oscar E. Miranda-Miller, and Carmen Albizu-García Abstract Laws facilitating the involuntary civil commitment (ICC) of people with substance use disorders vary considerably internationally and across the United States. Puerto Rico, a colonial territory of the United States since 1898, currently harbors the most punitive ICC legislation in the country. It is the only place in the United States where self-sufficient adults who pose no grave danger to…

Power, Privacy, and the People at the AIDS 2022 Conference

Sara (Meg) Davis The International AIDS Conference is a biennial litmus test for the global HIV response: a moment to celebrate progress in research and practice, forge new connections and reconnect with allies. Human rights has long been a central topic, both on the formal program and in the Global Village where civil society gathers. This year at AIDS 2022 in Montreal, Canada, many of the human rights track sessions…

Roe Overturned: Lessons from Latin America

Andrés Constantin and Maia Levy Daniel A few years ago, Belén ended up in jail after being admitted to a hospital in Argentina for suffering a miscarriage.[1] Within hours, she was surrounded by the police and accused of having induced an abortion, which was illegal. Belén spent 29 months in preventive detention and was sentenced to eight years in prison for aggravated homicide due to Argentina’s strict abortion laws at…

LETTER Cannabis, Coerced Care, and a Rights-Based Approach to Community Support

Johannes Wheeldon and Jon Heidt Introduction Recently, a special section in this journal reviewed the widespread misuse of compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centers.[1] Although the issue was a welcome addition to the literature, most contributors focused on formal responses to injected drugs. A detailed discussion of the rise of coerced treatment as part of cannabis decriminalization was notable by its absence.[2] Cannabis remains the most used psychoactive substance under international control. In…

Reparations for Harms Experienced in Residential Aged Care

Linda Steele and Kate Swaffer Abstract This paper explores the possibility of reparations for harms suffered by people in residential aged care, focusing on experiences of people with dementia. We first explain how systemic and structural harms occur within residential aged care and outline how they constitute human rights violations. Using Australia as a case study, we then consider the limitations of court-based approaches to pursuit of redress and the…

Delayed Justice over Forced Sterilization of a Honduran Woman Living with HIV

Rosa González and Tamil Kendall In May 2022, the President of Chile made a historic public apology to Francisca, a woman living with HIV who was sterilized without her consent. The apology came  20 years after Francisca’s forced sterilization and followed a decade of litigation before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.[1] Forced and coerced sterilization is recognized as a human rights violation under international law.[2] In 2021, the Executive…

Returning to a Pre-Roe World Threatens More than Abortion Rights

Sarthak Gupta and Pruthvirajsinh Zala In May 2022, an initial draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked forewarning an overturn of the decision in Roe v. Wade. Justice Alito writes in the draft opinion, that the rationale of Roe was egregiously wrong from the beginning, although SCOTUS in a press release said…

VIEWPOINT Transitions from Compulsory Detention to Community-Based Treatment: No Transparency without Data, No Accountability without Independent Evaluations

Volume 24/1, June 2022, pp. 179-181 |  PDF Pascal Tanguay, Anand Chabungbam, and Gino Vumbaca In 2012, the cosponsors of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) issued a statement calling for the closure of compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centers.[1] To accelerate this process, an expert working group—composed of eminent scholars and community leaders—was jointly established in 2014 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and…

PERSPECTIVE Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination: Lessons from Tuberculosis and HIV

Volume 24/1, June 2022, pp. 85-91 |  PDF Lynette Mtimkulu-Eyde, Justin Denholm, Apurva Narain, Razia Fatima, Karuna D. Sagili, Rubeshan Perumal, and Nesri Padayatchi There is little doubt that vaccines represent one of the most significant medical advancements in human history, eradicating smallpox and averting millions of deaths from infectious diseases annually.1 Nevertheless, they are currently undermined by the convergence of three pandemics: COVID-19, vaccine hesitancy, and internet-facilitated misinformation. This…

Developing Data Governance Agreements with Indigenous Communities in Canada: Toward Equitable Tuberculosis Programming, Research, and Reconciliation

Volume 24/1, June 2022, pp. 21-33 |  PDF Robin P. Love, Billie-Jo Hardy, Courtney Heffernan, Amber Heyd, Melissa Cardinal-Grant, Lori Sparling, Bonnie Healy, Janet Smylie, and Richard Long Abstract Indigenous rights to self-determination and data sovereignty support Indigenous-led data governance, which, when adequately resourced, can act as a catalyst for Indigenous-led strategic planning and decision-making in public health research and programming. Respecting Indigenous data sovereignty and governance requires time, resources,…