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…

STUDENT ESSAY: Is Compulsory COVID-19 Vaccination a Violation of Human Rights?

Aaron Chia In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK Government passed the Coronavirus Act 2020 (CA), which implemented a number of emergency powers, allowing public officials to take action in specific situations in order to contain and slow down the spread of the virus as well as ease the burden on frontline staff.[1] Examples of these emergency powers include: the capability for public officials to test, isolate, and detain…

Kashmir: Public Health and Human Rights Crises

Nida S. Zubairi and Omar J. Baqal COVID-19 continues to take a heavy toll in Kashmir, with over 317,000 cases and 4,343 deaths reported by early July 2021 in a region of around 13 million people. But Kashmiris are concerned not just about COVID-19 and the Indian government’s human rights failings regarding the pandemic in the region; since early June 2021 a large number of paramilitary personnel have been deployed…

Five Years After Security Council’s Resolution to Protect Health Care in Conflict: Still at Zero?

Leonard Rubenstein As far back as the 1980s human rights organizations documented human rights and international humanitarian law violations against patients, health workers, and health facilities in war and political conflict. But global human rights accountability machinery, from UN review committees to domestic and international investigative mechanisms, mostly ignored the abuses until momentum for protection and accountability began to build in the second decade of this century. As a result…

Lies, Damned Lies, and “Official” Statistics

Maria Gargiulo and Megan Price Collecting data in a pandemic is difficult and can be dangerous. Even in the best settings, where health records are routinely and accurately maintained, it can be hard to justify maintaining that level of precision when the health system is overwhelmed in a pandemic. In other settings, which lack the infrastructure or are coping with armed conflict or other crises, public health data collection was…

Respectful Care for Women and Newborns in Crisis Settings: A Human Right

By Caroline Kinsella Maternal and newborn deaths must not be accepted as inevitable consequences of an armed conflict, natural disaster, or disease outbreak. This World Refugee Day, it is crucial that we listen to the displaced women and girls around the world demanding respectful and quality care in humanitarian settings. UNFPA anticipates that In the next three months more than 500 babies will be born to refugee mothers from Ethiopia’s…

BOOK REVIEW Decolonizing Public Health Requires an Epistemic Reformation

Volume 23/1, June 2021, pp. 297-299 PDF Bram Wispelwey Epidemic Illusions: On the Coloniality of Global Public Health, by Eugene Richardson, MIT Press, 2020 Physician-philosopher-revolutionary Frantz Fanon begins his chapter “Medicine and Colonialism” with the ideal setup for Eugene Richardson’s Epidemic Illusions: On the Coloniality of Global Public Health: “Introduced into Algeria at the same time as racialism and humiliation, Western medical science, being part of the oppressive system, has…

BOOK REVIEW Dissident Blood: Using Critical Feminist Study to Advance the Health and Human Rights of Menstruators

Volume 23/1, June 2021, pp. 293-296 PDF Caitlin R. Williams, Ashley Huff, and Benjamin Mason Meier The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies, edited by Chris Bobel, Inga Winkler, Breanne Fahs, Katie Ann Hasson, Elizabeth Arveda Kissling, and Tomi-Ann Roberts (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) Half of humanity has personal experience with menstruation, spending approximately half of their lives managing their menstruation, yet it is only recently that “menstrual health” has received…

BOOK REVIEW Global LGBTI Rights: Between Homonationalism, Homoromanticism, and Homocapitalism

Volume 23/1, June 2021, pp. 289-291 PDF Kaveri Qureshi Out of Time: The Queer Politics of Postcoloniality, Rahul Rao, Oxford University Press, 2020 I teach a course in health and human rights at the University of Edinburgh. LGBTI rights are an important focus within the course. As highlighted by the Global Commission on HIV and the Law and the Lancet Commission on the Legal Determinants of Health, punitive laws, discriminatory…

Decolonizing Health Governance: A Uganda Case Study on the Influence of Political History on Community Participation

Volume 23/1, June 2021, pp. 259-271 PDF Moses Mulumba, Ana Lorena Ruano, Katrina Perehudoff, and Gorik Ooms Abstract This paper presents a case study of how colonial legacies in Uganda have affected the shape and breadth of community participation in health system governance. Using Habermas’s theory of deliberative democracy and the right to health, we examine the key components required for decolonizing health governance in postcolonial countries. We argue that…

Sanctioning Chile’s Public Health Care System for Not Providing Basic Services to the Elderly: The Inter-American Court’s Poblete Vilches Ruling

Volume 23/1, June 2021, pp. 251-258 PDF Ángela Arenas Massa, Marilú Budinich Villouta, and Carolina Riveros Ferrada Abstract This paper analyzes the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ ruling in the case of Poblete Vilches et al. v. Chile. Poblete Vilches, a senior citizen, died in February 2001 due to septic shock and bilateral bronchopneumonia after being treated in a public hospital in Chile. The ruling held the state of Chile…