PERSPECTIVE Human Rights in Public Health: Deepening Engagement at a Critical Time

Benjamin Mason Meier, Dabney P. Evans, Matthew M. Kavanagh, Jessica M. Keralis, and Gabriel Armas-Cardona On behalf of the American Public Health Association’s Human Rights Forum This year marks the 70th anniversary of both the birth of human rights law through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the birth of global health governance through the World Health Organization (WHO). Over the past 70 years, human rights have developed…

PERSPECTIVE Tax and the Right to Health

Bernadette Ann-Marie O’Hare Introduction Human rights are enshrined in numerous international treaties, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. However, the right to health is limited by the principle of progressive realization, which has left loopholes allowing the deferment of fundamental human rights.[1] Many of these fundamental human rights—such as the rights…

PERSPECTIVE Contribution of the Health Ombud to Accountability: The Life Esidimeni Tragedy in South Africa

Ebenezer Durojaye and Daphine Kabagambe Agaba  Introduction Between October 2015 and June 2016, 1,711 people were relocated from mental health facilities operated by long-term provider Life Esidimeni in the South African province of Gauteng to alternative facilities managed by multiple nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The result of the change in providers, and the manner in which the transfers were managed, became a tragedy that culminated in the death of 144 mental…

Letter to the Editor: Malnutrition, Poverty, and Climate Change are also Human Rights Issues in Child Labor

Adele Jones Athena Ramos’s paper “Child Labor in Global Tobacco Production: A Human Rights Approach to an Enduring Dilemma” highlights the critical issue of human rights for working children, especially those working in hazardous tobacco farming, where agriculture is intricately connected to global business interests.[1] The author includes an extensive review of the literature on child labor in tobacco farming and the human rights that are ignored in, as she…

Gendered Power Relations and Informed Consent: The I.V. v. Bolivia Case

Martín Hevia and Andrés Constantin Abstract In a landmark decision handed down on November 30, 2016, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights analyzed the foundations of the right to informed consent. The court held Bolivia responsible for the forced sterilization of I.V., an immigrant woman from Peru, and recognized the importance of personal autonomy as a constitutive element of personality. This paper discusses the ethical foundations of the decision and…

The Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar: When the Stateless Seek Refuge

Abhishek Bhatia, Ayesha Mahmud, Arlan Fuller, Rebecca Shin, Azad Rahman, Tanvir Shatil, Mahmuda Sultana, K. A. M Morshed, Jennifer Leaning, and Satchit Balsari Abstract The Rohingya people of Myanmar have been subject to human rights violations through government-sponsored discrimination and violence. Since August 2017, an intensified assault by Myanmar authorities has resulted in a rapid increase of Rohingya pouring into Bangladesh, and the expansion of refugee settlements in the district…

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…