Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: Human Rights-Based Approaches of Legislation, Education, and Community Empowerment

Beth D. Williams-Breault Abstract Female genital mutilation/cutting is a form of violence against women and girls. It includes all procedures that involve the partial or total removal of external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is estimated that over 200 million girls and women worldwide have suffered the effects of this practice and that approximately 3.6 million girls and women are at risk…

Child Labor in Global Tobacco Production: A Human Rights Approach to an Enduring Dilemma

Athena K. Ramos Abstract Tobacco production is a multi-billion-dollar global industry. Unfortunately, the cultivation of tobacco engages the labor of children throughout the world in extremely dangerous environments, which has both immediate and long-term consequences for children and society. This paper explores the human rights concerns associated with child labor in tobacco production by highlighting three countries—the United States, Kazakhstan, and Malawi—and examines the impact that the United Nations Convention…

Intersex Variations, Human Rights, and the International Classification of Diseases

Morgan Carpenter Abstract Over time, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reviewed and removed pathologizing classifications and codes associated with sexual and gender minorities from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). However, classifications associated with intersex variations, congenital variations in sex characteristics or differences of sex development, remain pathologized. The ICD-11 introduces additional and pathologizing normative language to describe these as “disorders of sex development.” Current materials in the ICD-11…

Missing: Where Are the Migrants in Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plans?

Kolitha Wickramage, Lawrence O. Gostin, Eric Friedman, Phusit Prakongsai, Rapeepong Suphanchaimat, Charles Hui, Patrick Duigan, Eliana Barragan, and David R. Harper Background Influenza pandemics are perennial global health security threats, with novel and seasonal influenza affecting a large proportion of the world’s population, causing enormous economic and social destruction. Novel viruses such as influenza A(H7N9) continue to emerge, posing zoonotic and potential pandemic threats.[1] Many countries have developed pandemic influenza…

A Comparison of Health Achievements in Rwanda and Burundi

Hari S. Iyer, Adanna Chukwuma, Jean Claude Mugunga, Anatole Manzi, Melino Ndayizigiye, and Sudhir Anand Abstract         Strong primary health care systems are essential for implementing universal health coverage and fulfilling health rights entitlements, but disagreement exists over how best to create them. Comparing countries with similar histories, lifestyle practices, and geography but divergent health outcomes can yield insights into possible mechanisms for improvement. Rwanda and Burundi are two such countries.…

Letter to the Editor: The Rule of Law as a Social Determinant of Health

O.B.K. Dingake This letter to the editor is based on the author’s address to the World Justice Forum in The Hague, July 10-13, 2017. The author spoke in his capacity as co-chair of the African Think Tank on HIV, Health, and Social Justice and president of the Africa Judges Forum on HIV, Human Rights, and the Law. It has been submitted in response to the Health and Human Rights Journal…

Letter to the Editor Response: Much to Debate About Conscientious Objection

Wendy Chavkin, Laurel Swerdlow, and Jocelyn Fifield Because Christian Fiala and Joyce Arthur absolutely oppose conscientious objection (CO) to abortion, they reject our very research question.1 We were not debating the desirability of CO but, rather, evaluating the efficacy of laws and policies that regulate the practice of CO in countries in which CO to abortion is permitted by law. Regardless of Fiala and Arthur’s opposition, CO is lodged in…

Letter to the Editor: Refusal to Treat Patients Does Not Work in Any Country—Even If Misleadingly Labelled “Conscientious Objection”

Christian Fiala and Joyce H. Arthur We would like to point out some serious problems and contradictions in the study “Regulation of Conscientious Objection to Abortion: An International Comparative Multiple-Case Study,” by Wendy Chavkin, Laurel Swerdlow, and Jocelyn Fifield (Health and Human Rights Journal, vol. 19, no. 1, 2017). The study purports to show that it is possible to accommodate health care providers’ “conscientious objection” (CO) to legal abortion while…

Canada’s Mining Industry in Guatemala and the Right to Health of Indigenous Peoples

Leah Shipton Congratulations to Leah Shipton—this essay is a winner in the Harvard FXB Health and Human Rights Consortium 2017 Student Essay Competition. Leah Shipton is a Master of Public Health student at the University of Toronto. Introduction Guatemala entered the capitalist world economy in 1523 by force of Spanish conquistadors, emerging first as an agricultural export economy and then, in response to globalization, moving toward a resource-based economy.1 The…

HIV Criminalization Laws and the Right to Health

Neiloy Sircar Congratulations to Neiloy Sircar—this essay is a winner in the Harvard FXB Health and Human Rights Consortium 2017 Student Essay Competition. Neiloy Sircar is an LLM student at the O’Neill Institute, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC. This paper discusses the harmful impacts of archaic criminal laws poorly drafted to punish the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Many of these laws emerged in the 1980s and early 1990s,…