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…

Editorial—Learning from the Past: Confronting Legal, Social, and Structural Barriers to the HIV Response

Luisa Cabal and Patrick Eba The first special issue on HIV and human rights published by this journal in 1998 highlighted emerging concerns that structural, legal, and social barriers were at the core of vulnerability to HIV.[1] It called attention to the specific challenges and human rights violations faced by women, gay men and men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, and persons with disabilities, and stressed…

Editorial—The Critical Role of Research in Advancing Romani’s Right to Health

Jacqueline Bhabha, Margareta Matache, and Teresa Sorde Marti As we finalize this special section on Romani People and the Right to Health, a landmark ruling on Roma health rights has just been handed down by the European Committee of Social Rights. On October 16, 2017, the committee accepted as admissible the European Roma Rights Centre’s complaint against Bulgaria alleging systemic discrimination against Romani women in maternity wards.[1] The complaint details…

Foreword—Harnessing the Power and Promise of Human Rights to End AIDS by 2030

Michel Sidibé The HIV epidemic and response are at a critical juncture. Our advances against the epidemic have been impressive, with unprecedented numbers of people accessing antiretroviral treatment, especially in low- and middle-income countries, and a global reduction in new HIV infections. However, the epidemic is not over, and the challenges ahead are significant. More than 15.8 million people are still awaiting treatment, while an estimated 11 million people do…

Dedicated Caravan Sites for French Gens du Voyage: Public Health Policy or Construction of Health and Environmental Inequalities?

Lise Foisneau Abstract In France, gens du voyage (“people who travel” or “travellers”) is a term used by the government to categorize various itinerant populations, the majority of which are diverse Romani groups. People categorized as gens du voyage are legally required to reside in particular locations called “dedicated caravan sites.” Parliamentary debates about these dedicated caravan sites have clarified that one of the objectives of such sites is to…

No More Broken Promises: Challenges and Opportunities for Key Populations in Demanding More Transparency, Accountability, and Participation in the Global Response Against the HIV and AIDS Epidemic

Tomás A. Chang Pico, Jillian Clare Kohler, Julia Hoffmann, and Lucy Mungala Abstract The global fight against HIV/AIDS continues to pose challenges: infection rates are on the rise in many settings, stigma and discrimination remain rampant, and the global response is under increasing financial pressure. There is a high risk of losing what has been achieved so far in the fight against HIV and AIDS, but also the momentum to…

The Influence of Ethnicity and Displacement on Quality of Antenatal Care: The Case of Roma, Ashkali, and Balkan Egyptian Communities in Kosovo

Kristefer Stojanovski, Alaka Holla, Ilir Hoxha, Elizabeth Howell, and Teresa Janevic Abstract The conflict in Kosovo created mass displacement and a fractured health system. Roma, Ashkali, and Balkan Egyptian communities are particularly vulnerable to discrimination and exclusion from institutions. We aimed to examine Roma, Ashkali, and Balkan Egyptian disparities in quantity and quality of antenatal care received. We conducted a cross-sectional study in August 2012 with 603 women aged 15…

Global Survey of National Constitutions: Mapping Constitutional Commitments to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Lucía Berro Pizzarossa and Katrina Perehudoff Abstract General Comment No. 22, issued in 2016 by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), clarifies states’ legal duties to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Our study analyzes domestic constitutions around the world to investigate whether and to what extent the right to sexual and reproductive health is respected, protected, and fulfilled; to what…

Doubling Syndemics: Ethnographic Accounts of the Health Situation of Homeless Romanian Roma in Copenhagen

Camilla Ida Ravnbøl Abstract This study investigates health concerns and access to health services for Roma from Romania who live in homelessness in Copenhagen, Denmark. They collect refundable bottles and call themselves “badocari,” which in Romanian refers to “people who work with bottles.” Homeless Roma in Denmark have not previously been studied through ethnographic research. The study stresses the importance of a syndemic approach towards understanding badocari health concerns. Syndemics…

Securing a Right to Health: “Integration villages” and Medical Citizenship of Roma People in France

Daniel Manson Abstract A national deportation campaign targeting Romanian Roma in France has recently drawn international criticism from human rights organizations and the European Union. In this context, some French municipalities have created villages d’insertion—integration villages—for some of their Roma residents. Proponents of these spaces have declared that they are humanitarian solutions to the existence of Roma slums in the urban peripheries of many French cities. Yet the creation of…

Inconvenient Human Rights: Water and Sanitation in Sweden’s Informal Roma Settlements

Martha F. Davis and Natasha Ryan Abstract Following an increase in Roma migration under the European “freedom of movement” laws, Swedish municipalities initiated more than 80 evictions of informal Roma settlements on the grounds of poor sanitation between 2013 and 2016. These evictions echo policies from earlier in the 20th century, when Roma living in Sweden were often marginalized through the denial of access to water and sanitation facilities. The…