Social Solidarity, Human Rights, and Collective Action: Considerations in the Implementation of the National Health Insurance in South Africa

Renate Douwes, Maria Stuttaford, and Leslie London Abstract Participation is recognized as an important contribution to implementing the right to health. It features as a key element of the global movement to achieve universal health coverage. The mobilization of groups into collective action is central in this. In South Africa, universal health coverage has become a feature of health policies, with the country’s new National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme in…

Strategic Litigation to Advance Public Health

Tamar Ezer and Priti Patel Abstract The HIV movement has relied on strategic litigation as an important tool to develop and enforce legal protections critical to health. This experience contains lessons on the potential of strategic litigation to advance public health more generally. Beyond impacting laws and policies, strategic litigation can change practice, breathing life into existing legal rules never implemented. While cases may target a particular law, policy, or…

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…

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.…