First Responders with a Rights-Based Approach to Mental Health Crises

Tamar Ezer and Denise Tomasini-Joshi The United States, with its inadequate social safety net and lack of community-based mental health resources, has come to rely on the criminal legal system to respond to mental health needs. “The mental health system is largely broken across the country. We’ve tried to paper over it by funding law enforcement.”[1] This has transformed mental health into a law enforcement matter, with people with mental…

Trans-institutionalisation in Ireland: New and Emerging Congregated Settings for People with Disabilities

Gautam Gulati, Alan Cusack, Brendan D. Kelly, Valerie E. Murphy, Shane Kilcommins, and Colum P. Dunne The use of congregated settings to accommodate people with disabilities in Ireland may be in breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The report of the Health Service Executive (Ireland’s public health provider) working group on congregated settings in 2011 called for immediate action to provide community support…

Inequity is an Iniquity: Speaking Up for Aspiring African Researchers

Adelaide M. Lusambili and Constance S. Shumba   The careers of aspiring low- and middle-income country (LMIC) researchers follow a remarkably similar path. Many of these researchers-in-training are able and eager to understand the dynamics of health issues in their own societies. Many want to undertake research to find solutions to the chronic health problems and service deficits that beset their countries. And many possess great insight about the populations…

Kashmir: Public Health and Human Rights Crises

Nida S. Zubairi and Omar J. Baqal COVID-19 continues to take a heavy toll in Kashmir, with over 317,000 cases and 4,343 deaths reported by early July 2021 in a region of around 13 million people. But Kashmiris are concerned not just about COVID-19 and the Indian government’s human rights failings regarding the pandemic in the region; since early June 2021 a large number of paramilitary personnel have been deployed…

Five Years After Security Council’s Resolution to Protect Health Care in Conflict: Still at Zero?

Leonard Rubenstein As far back as the 1980s human rights organizations documented human rights and international humanitarian law violations against patients, health workers, and health facilities in war and political conflict. But global human rights accountability machinery, from UN review committees to domestic and international investigative mechanisms, mostly ignored the abuses until momentum for protection and accountability began to build in the second decade of this century. As a result…

Lies, Damned Lies, and “Official” Statistics

Maria Gargiulo and Megan Price Collecting data in a pandemic is difficult and can be dangerous. Even in the best settings, where health records are routinely and accurately maintained, it can be hard to justify maintaining that level of precision when the health system is overwhelmed in a pandemic. In other settings, which lack the infrastructure or are coping with armed conflict or other crises, public health data collection was…

VIEWPOINT Addressing the Boko Haram-Induced Mental Health Burden in Nigeria

Volume 23/1, June 2021, pp. 71-73 PDF Adewale Olusola Adeboye In Nigeria, the Boko Haram insurgency has opened up wide-ranging discussions regarding human security and human rights. The crisis has exposed the sheer neglect and near exclusion of people under mental distress from health facilities, despite the urgent need for adequate mental health support and care for those who have experienced extreme violence. If people are unable to receive mental…

Drug Company Practices: Is COVID-19 a New Dawn for Human Rights Norms or Business as Usual?

Katrina Perehudoff and Tessa Jolan Jager Drug company decisions about COVID-19 products reveal insights about the changing contours of responsible and rights-based corporate conduct in a health crisis. Those holding the intellectual property (IP) rights to COVID-19 medicines can prevent others from manufacturing, selling, or using their product while it is under protection. In the last two decades drug company strategies ranged from staunchly defending their proprietary rights (for example,…

Applying a Human Rights Lens to the Work of the Biden Task Force on Separated Families

Jennifer McQuaid and Randi Mandelbaum Lawyers, psychologists, primary health physicians, and human rights professionals are watching as the Biden and Harris Inter Agency Task Force, created by Executive Order on February 2, 2021, and led by the Commissioner of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), begins to make amends for the effects of the government’s Zero Tolerance Policy which forcibly separated nearly 6,000 children from their parents.[1] While…

The Value of Human Rights for Vaccine Prioritization at the National Level

Sharifah Sekalala Now that several viable COVID-19 vaccines have been developed, the end of the pandemic may be in sight, at least for the 14% of the world’s population fortunate enough to live in countries that have pre-ordered vaccines. For the rest of the world’s population in low- or middle-income countries, there are still serious questions about access to the vaccines with the United Nations (UN) estimating that most people…