Environmental Destruction is a Human Rights Violation: The Health Crisis in Gaza

Meena Hasan and Meena Aladdin In April the United States and the world celebrated Earth Day, promoting sustainability and raising awareness about preserving natural resources. Just two days later, President Biden signed a bill securing billions in US funding for Ukraine and Israel for their security efforts. The US support will bolster Israel’s war efforts and lead to the continued displacement and suffering of Palestinians in Gaza, as well as severe…

Three Recommendations on Digital Technologies and Data Privacy for the WHO Pandemic Agreement

Tomaso Falchetta, Molly Pugh-Jones and Tinashe Rufurwadzo In December 2021, the World Health Assembly established an intergovernmental negotiating body to draft and negotiate a convention to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. The negotiations of this WHO Pandemic Agreement are now entering the final stages and a text may be agreed upon at the World Health Assembly by the end of May. Regretfully with each round of negotiations the language…

Right to Shelter Needed in California

Holly Wertman New York and California are states of deep contradiction, both housing some of the nation’s most wealthy and also a sizeable proportion of the poorest. According to recent counts, California and New York have the largest homeless populations in the United States with 161,548 and 91,271 people respectively. The combined total represents more than 40% of the country’s entire homeless population, concentrated in Los Angeles (LA) and New…

Regulating Health Apps to Comply with Health Rights

Lyla Latif Digital health apps can play a crucial role in fulfilling core components of the right to health: availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality (AAAQ) of health services. Their use in the progressive realization of health rights could be significant in regions where resources are scarce, especially the Global South where the gaps in healthcare access and quality are acute. Innovations such as telemedicine and mobile health apps are examples…

Improving Global Health Governance in Armed Conflicts: Lessons from COVID-19

Beier Nelson, Lucy Tu, and Fatima Cody Stanford As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the global community is confronted with a different type of outbreak—not of disease, but armed conflict. According to the United Nations (UN), we are currently witnessing the highest number of violent conflicts since World War II. Global health governance systems must have compliance from the international community to support the well-being of populations caught…

UK Public Health Registrars Write Open Letter Calling for a Ceasefire in Gaza

As of 7 December 2023, the World Health Organization reports that 17,487 Palestinians have been killed in more than two months of bombardment on Gaza, with a large proportion of them children. The situation is dire, and as Public Health professionals we are extremely concerned at the toll this is having on Gaza’s population. Infrastructure to support public health is on its knees. Hospitals, clinics, places of worship, schools, bakeries,…

Health Faculty Call for Ceasefire in Gaza and Centering Palestine in the Classroom

A. Kayum Ahmed, Bram Wispelwey, and Yara Asi In an open letter to President Biden more than 100 faculty from schools of public health and medical schools across the United States joined calls for a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to attacks on hospitals. Signatories include Dr. Mary Bassett, director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, and Dr. Seema Yasmin, an Emmy Award-winning…

Health and Human Rights Journal Announces Amon as Editor-in-Chief

Harvard University’s François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights and Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health, co-publishers of the Health and Human Rights Journal, announced today the appointment of Drexel Professor Joseph Amon, PhD, MSPH, as the journal’s Editor-in-Chief. The Health and Human Rights Journal began publication at Harvard in 1994 under the editorship of Prof. Jonathan Mann, who subsequently became Dean of what would become the…

UK AI Safety Summit will Impact Global Health: Time to Strengthen Rights-Based AI Governance

Sara (Meg) Davis The forthcoming high-level UK AI Safety Summit focuses on existential threats caused by the rapid growth and proliferation of AI systems. Health goals—for example, the promise of more rapid and accurate diagnosis and treatment—are often cited as an underlying rationale for the rapid growth of AI. But in practice, without stronger AI governance, the profound inequalities and human rights issues in global health risk being amplified. Experts,…

UK Cost-of-Living Crisis and Food Banks: A Right to Health Critique   

Sharifah Sekalala, Kevin Hearty, and Hadijah Namyalo-Ganafa Interspersed between headlines of multiple crises in the United Kingdom such as leaving the European Union, COVID-19, successive changes of government, the war in Ukraine, and public sector work strikes, has been a long-standing crisis around the cost of living. The cost-of-living crisis is about many things; high energy prices, high utility bills, unaffordable housing, but also fundamentally about increasing prices of food…