Intersectional Discrimination of Romani Women Forcibly Sterilized in the Former Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic

Gwendolyn Albert and Marek Szilvasi  Abstract This paper reviews domestic and international activism seeking justice for Romani and other women harmed by coercive, forced, and involuntary sterilization in the former Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic. Framed by Michel Foucault’s theory of biopower, it summarizes the history of these abuses and describes human rights campaigns involving domestic and international litigation, advocacy, and grassroots activism, as well as the responses of the Czech…

The Impact of Legal Advocacy Strategies to Advance Roma Health: The Case of Macedonia

Alphia Abdikeeva and Alina Covaci Abstract Across Europe, Roma face exclusion and obstacles in access to health services, resulting in poorer health. While there are legal and policy frameworks for Roma inclusion, implementation often lags behind. Increasing the grassroots capacity of Roma to advocate for accountability in health care and against systemic impediments has been a central focus of Open Society Foundations (OSF) support. This analysis discusses the impact of…

Foreword—Romani Global Diaspora: Implementation of the Right to Health

Rita Izsák-Ndiaye It has long been obvious that the general health status of Roma is much worse than that of non-Roma. Surveys have found that European Roma are disproportionately unvaccinated, have poorer-than-average nutrition, and experience higher rates of infant mortality and tuberculosis. Estimates in 12 European Union (EU) member states suggest that Roma live 7–20 fewer years than non-Roma.[1] However, the lack of standardized and systematic disaggregated data prevents us…

Where Public Health Meets Human Rights: Integrating Human Rights into the Validation of the Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and Syphilis

Eszter Kismödi, Karusa Kiragu, Olga Sawicki, Sally Smith, Sophie Brion, Aditi Sharma, Lilian Mworeko, and Alexandrina Iovita Abstract In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) initiated a process for validation of the elimination of mother-to-child transmission (EMTCT) of HIV and syphilis by countries. For the first time in such a process for the validation of disease elimination, WHO introduced norms and approaches that are grounded in human rights, gender equality,…

As the HIV Epidemic among Young Women Grows, Can We Look to the SDGs to Reverse the Trend?

Terry McGovern, Johanna Fine, Carolyn Crisp, and Emily Battistini Abstract To end the growing HIV epidemic among young women, human rights violations must be addressed. The Sustainable Development Goals have the potential to help, but only if political barriers are overcome and a rights-based approach is integrated. Introduction We have long known that biomedical interventions alone will not curb the HIV epidemic among young women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa.…

A Reporting System to Protect the Human Rights of People Living with HIV and Key Populations

R. Taylor Williamson, Vivian Fiscian, Ryan Ubuntu Olson, Fred Nana Poku, and Joseph Whittal Abstract People living with HIV and key populations face human rights violations that affect their access to health services, relationships in their communities, housing options, and employment. To address these violations, government and civil society organizations in Ghana developed a discrimination reporting system managed by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice that links people…

Perspective—Associations Between Police Harassment and HIV Vulnerabilities Among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women in Jamaica

Carmen H. Logie, Ashley Lacombe-Duncan, Kathleen S. Kenny, Kandasi Levermore, Nicolette Jones, Annecka Marshall, and Peter A. Newman Background The criminalization of same-sex practices constrains HIV prevention for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) and, in part due to the conflation of gender and sexuality, transgender women.1 Criminalization is a structural driver of HIV that indirectly influences HIV vulnerability through multiple pathways: decreased funding for…

Perspective—Human Rights in the Fourth Decade of the HIV/AIDS Response: An Inspiring Legacy and Urgent Imperative

Jamie Enoch and Peter Piot Abstract More than 35 years since the HIV/AIDS pandemic began, HIV continues to cause almost two million new infections each year, and the “end of AIDS” by 2030 remains elusive.1 Violations of human rights continue to fuel high rates of new infections among key populations and a generalized epidemic in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Meanwhile, as political shifts worldwide threaten not only HIV funding but…

Human Rights and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: How Does a Large Funder of Basic Health Services Meet the Challenge of Rights-Based Programs? 

Ralf Jürgens, Joanne Csete, Hyeyoung Lim, Susan Timberlake, and Matthew Smith Abstract The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was created to greatly expand access to basic services to address the three diseases in its name. From its beginnings, its governance embodied some human rights principles: civil society is represented on its board, and the country coordination mechanisms that oversee funding requests to the Global Fund include representatives…

In Women’s Eyes: Key Barriers to Women’s Access to HIV Treatment and a Rights-Based Approach to their Sustained Well-Being

Luisa Orza, Emily Bass, Emma Bell, E. Tyler Crone, Nazneen Damji, Sophie Dilmitis, Liz Tremlett, Nasra Aidarus, Jacqui Stevenson, Souhaila Bensaid, Calorine Kenkem, Gracia Violeta Ross, Elena Kudravtseva, and Alice Welbourn Abstract There is rightly a huge global effort to enable women living with HIV to have long productive lives, through treatment access. However, many women living with HIV experience violence against women (VAW), in both domestic and health care…