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…

International Human Rights Process Finally Achieves Equal Treatment for Foreign Teachers in Korea: The Case of L.G. v. Republic of Korea

Benjamin K. Wagner The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the monitoring body of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), gave its opinion in May 2015 on a case brought by a New Zealand national living and working in the Republic of Korea as a teacher of English as a foreign language.[1] The CERD found that the South Korean…

COVID-19 and the Law: Framing Healthcare Worker Risks as Women’s Rights Violations

Kristin Bergtora Sandvik Today, public health is ‘delivered by women and led by men’, with a glaring absence of women and nurses at the decision making table.[1] Globally, though women only make up 25% of those in healthcare leadership they make up the majority of healthcare workers (70%) and nurses (90%).[2]  This exclusion skews the agendas on health so the gender dimensions of research, diagnosis, treatment, and care are rendered…

World AIDS Day 2020: Further Shifting the Paradigm to Transform the HIV Response

Courtenay Sprague The “HIV/AIDS pandemic has marked all of our lives, and I suspect we share a sense that it has led us and the world forward in some way,” wrote the late Dr Jonathan Mann, health and human rights luminary, field-builder, and founder of the Health and Human Rights Journal.[1] In 1996, he posed the question, “What are the transformative possibilities of the AIDS pandemic?”[2] Every year December 1…