A Healthy Environment Becomes a Human Right 

News UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has called on states to take bold actions to give prompt and real effect to the right to a healthy environment, following a UN Human Rights Council’s landmark decision to recognise a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a human right. The Human Rights Council also increased its focus on the human rights impacts of climate change by establishing a Special…

Johnson & Johnson, Vaccine Apartheid, and Human Rights

A. Kayum Ahmed, Achal Prabhala, Julia Greenberg, Ames Dhai, and Usuf Chikte Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) decision to export COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in South Africa and India to Europe, ahead of supplying both countries or their respective continents, contradicts the company’s publicly declared commitment to widening access to health care and to human rights. Given that less than 2% of Africans and about 15% of Indians are fully vaccinated, compared…

Letter to the Editor: The Nicaragua Example

Lori Hanson In Lies, Damned Lies, and “Official Statistics” authors Maria Gargiulo and Megan Price offer an important reminder of the inherent difficulty and potential danger in collecting data and providing information to the public during a pandemic, using examples from both authoritarian right-wing and authoritarian ‘left’ regimes in Latin America. They propose similarities to the work of collecting data in conflict situations. The story behind at least one of…

Discrimination as WeChat deletes LGBTQIA+ accounts in China

Geeta Moni  Tencent’s WeChat social media network has blocked dozens of LGBTQIA+ university student profiles, saying that some had broken internet information guidelines, prompting worries of a crackdown on gay content online. The social media site has deactivated accounts linked to the LGBTQIA+ community and university-based LGBTQIA+ groups. In response to the termination of their accounts, Fudan University’s Zhihe Society said “Our activities will not stop due to the closure. On the…

Ghosting Palestine: Hiding Health and Human Rights Violations

Alice Rothchild Journals in the medical, social, and political sciences have begun to highlight an appreciation of structural racism, and the personal and public health costs of bigotry and chronic stress. For oppressed populations, understanding these forces is critical to the establishment of basic human rights, including the right to health in its broadest sense: access to health services, clean water, sanitation, nutrition, housing, education, employment, and freedom of movement.…

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…

Reshaping Global Health Law in the Wake of COVID-19 to Uphold Human Rights

Roojin Habibi, Tim Fish Hodgson, Benjamin Mason Meier, Ian Seiderman, and Steven Hoffman The COVID-19 pandemic unequivocally reveals that human rights, the rule of law, democratic institutions and global solidarity are essential to effective public health emergency preparedness and response. Reiterated throughout discussions in the World Health Assembly (WHA) between 24 and 31 May 2021, there is now clear global consensus on the need to strengthen international legal standards to…

Advancing Women’s and Children’s Health: The Value of the Framework Convention on Global Health

Arachu Castro, Eric A. Friedman, Luiz Galvao, Martin Hevia, and Helia Molina Historically, women in most parts of the world have been subject to deep discrimination which also harms children’s health in multiple ways. In this blog we argue that the Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH), a proposed global treaty with human rights and equity as overriding goals and principles, could help address these harms. The FCGH is especially…

Constitutional Rights in South Africa Protect Against Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination

Tanya Calitz Finally, after a long year with the ever-present threat of the COVID-19 virus, there is a glimpse of light at the end of a very dark tunnel, presenting itself as a vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan is well underway in South Africa, albeit with some fits and starts, but most healthcare workers have now received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The question that arises is whether receiving the…

Doctors in India Need Human Rights Training to Advocate for Prison Reform  

Shivam Singh, Farhad R. Udwadia, and J. Wesley Boyd It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones. Nelson Mandela Conditions inside Indian prisons are poor at best and abhorrent at worst. Many of these prisons are overcrowded breeding grounds for HIV and TB and…