The Question is the Answer: Who Created Flamenco?

Family gathered around guitarist

A personal and political story by Victoria Eugenia Ríos-Terheun My mother, originally from the Bay Area and an American, and my father, a Flamenco guitarist and Gitano (Spanish Romani), moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from Morón de la Frontera, Spain to the San Francisco Bay Area shortly before I was born in 1979. They came with my older brother and sister in pursuit of opportunities for my dad’s…

Chilling New Report by FXB’s Sergio Aguayo Cites Greater Death Toll in Allende Massacre

Ginger Thompson, ProPublica A disturbing report released today by researchers at the prestigious Colegio de Mexico provides new details about a 2011 massacre in Allende, a quiet Mexican ranching town less than an hour’s drive from the United States, and suggests that many more people were killed in the incident than estimated by Mexican authorities. The report’s authors also repeatedly cite an investigation of the incident by ProPublica and National…

the migrant diaries: Mexico 2017-3

It Looks Just Like Haiti by Lynne Jones Tijuana, Mexico* Monday May 1, 2017 Toy making this morning. This is my favourite parent-and-baby group session because everyone always gets completely engaged. And today we have four fathers! At the beginning the infants are rioting around as usual and I am trying to sort out the box of rubbish I bring to demonstrate that your kitchen is full of toys: old…

Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster Class With HarvardX

FXB Director Dr. Jennifer Leaning will be leading a class on Humanitarian response to conflict and disaster. The class will be offered by edX in conjunction with HarvardX and co-taught by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s Michael VanRooyen. This course from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and HarvardX seeks to prepare learners to recognize and analyze emerging challenges in the humanitarian field. The course explores the ethical and professional principles that guide humanitarian response…

Protecting Health Care in Armed Conflict: Harvard FXB at UNGA 72

On Friday, September 22, 2017, members of Harvard FXB’s Burden of War Project team, including FXB director and co-chair of the Lancet-American University of Beirut Commission on Syria, Dr. Jennifer Leaning, participated in the high-level side event, Protecting Health Care in Armed Conflict at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly. The Permanent Missions of Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom, in collaboration with the Lancet-AUB Commission on Syria…

Jennifer Leaning on Climate Change and Migration

FXB director Dr. Jennifer Leaning has long been concerned about climate change from a humanitarian and human rights perspective, particularly as it affects forced migration.  She will deliver the keynote for an upcoming symposium on Climate Change, Migration, and Health on Thursday, September 28 (free, but registration necessary). Sponsored by the Harvard Global Health Institute,  the symposium explores the grave consequences for global health that climate-induced migration poses in the…

Spotlight on the Harvard FXB Field Education Internship Program

The Harvard FXB Field Education Internship Program is a university-wide program established in 2014 at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights. The FXB Field Education Internship Program engages Harvard students in global community service and bridges connections between academia and practice in a university-wide effort. The program provides an opportunity for Harvard students to expand their knowledge of and…

Jennifer Leaning Interviewed by Weatherhead Center on the “Burden of War” in Syria

Our colleague Michelle Nicholasen at Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, interviewed Harvard FXB Director Jennifer Leaning about her experience as co-chair of The Lancet-AUB Commission on Syria and  the “Burden of War” on the Syrian people: Q: At the highest level, what is the nature of the Lancet team’s work? A: We are looking at what I have coined the “burden of war” on civilian populations. We are unpacking the notion of “burden” to…

the migrant diaries: Mexico 2017-2

‘I Did Not Choose to Be Here’ by Lynne Jones Tijuana, Mexico* Thursday May 5, 2017 The problem with making any plans to work with migrant children is that they migrate. Amparo, one of my hosts, had also asked me to do a camera/storytelling workshop with a group of Haitian children living in a shelter here in Tijuana. But four days ago she discovered they that they have all gone…

Dear Gadjo (non-Romani) Scholars…

“Me sem rom, me sem romni” March, 2011 | Photo courtesy of Romani CRISS By Margareta Matache [This is the third of a three-part blog series, “The White Norm in Gypsy and Romani Studies,” about the racialization and othering of Romani people against a white norm in standard Gypsy and Romani studies. The first segment explored the contribution of Gypsy studies to the perception of the Roma as inferior to…

the migrant diaries: Mexico 2017-1

Refugees at the beginning of the Via Crucis

‘Don’t Hate Migrants’ by Lynne Jones Chiapas, Mexico: Ciudad Hidalgo on the border of Guatemala and Mexico* Sunday April 9, 2017 When I asked the tall woman with the tiny baby why she left El Salvador, she answered in five words: Because they killed my husband. The tiny baby is 27 days old. She holds him close against her chest with a cloth pulled over to protect him from the…

Reclaiming Roma Identity: Fifth Annual Roma Conference at Harvard

Guest Post by John Anusavice April 9 and 10 marked Harvard FXB’s fifth annual Roma conference, “Culture Beyond Borders: The Roma Contribution.” This year the event opened in the evening with a one-woman play,  “I Declare at My Own Risk,” written and acted by Alina Şerban, an alumna of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and a Roma artist who grew up in Romania. Her performance delved into the struggles…

Loving Children by Leaving Them: The Sri Lankan Mother’s Dilemma

By Elizabeth H. Shlala One of the primary reasons that Sri Lankan women migrate is motherhood. 1.2 million Sri Lankans work abroad; 300,000 of them migrate as domestic workers to Saudi Arabia alone. In 2012 86% of all female migrant workers went abroad to be domestic workers or “housemaids.” 97% of Sri Lankan domestic workers migrated to the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar,  Saudi Arabia,…

Preventing Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of Child Migrants in Greece

  By Susan Lloyd McGarry From Australia to Venezuela, from Azerbajian to Vietnam, and many places in between, more than 60 news outlets and websites in at least 15 countries and 10 languages have published information about the recent Harvard FXB report Emergency Within An Emergency: The Growing Epidemic of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Migrant Children in Greece. Excerpts and links from some of that coverage is below. Our…

The Harvard FXB Center Celebrates Child Protection Certificate Recipients

By Krista Oehlke On Tuesday, May 2 at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights celebrated and honored its Child Protection Certificate recipients in an award ceremony. The celebration marked a milestone at the Center. Now in its third year, the program has grown exponentially and across disciplines. This spring, 20 graduate students from across the University – from the…

Aadhar and Child Protection in India: Access for the Poorest Remains Elusive

Cute Indian schoolgirls seated at desks

By Elizabeth Donger and Ayesha Mehrotra Every afternoon Meera walks around her neighborhood in Digha, a slum area on the banks of the Ganges in India’s Bihar State, knocking on the empty doorframes. A community protection volunteer with the nonprofit Aangan Trust, she targets families that she knows do not have Aadhaar cards, the national biometric ID card. She explains to parents that Aadhaar is essential for their children’s future,…

Human Health in a Changing Climate

FXB director Dr, Jennifer Leaning has long been concerned about climate change from a humanitarian and human rights perspective, particularly as it affects forced migration. She addresses this topic in two recent videos. First, for the  Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE), she talks about the evolution of her understanding of climate change, including the impact of her work with refugees from Darfur. Go to the HUCE profile of…

New Report: Emergency Within an Emergency, Exploitation of Migrant Children in Greece

For Immediate Release Monday, April 17, 2017 Boston Emergency within an Emergency: The Growing Epidemic of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Migrant Children in Greece Much public attention and heartache have been focused on the severe impact of the refugee and migration crisis on children. Images of toddlers drowned and washed up ashore, babies rescued from terrifying journeys, teenagers camping in bitter cold have been widely disseminated. An equally grave…

Does Power Listen to Truth in the Case of the Romani People?

By Margareta Matache, Jacqueline Bhabha, and Andrzej Mirga On March 14, in Fogarasi and Others v. Romania, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) condemned Romanian police officers for their inhuman treatment of a Romani family. According to this highly respected international human rights court, the EU member state’s conduct, as enacted by its law enforcement agents, constituted a breach of Article 3 of the European Convention, which provides that…

Enforce International Law in Syria

By Jennifer Leigh and Jennifer Leaning The United States can hesitate no longer to enforce international humanitarian law in the Syrian war.  The clear-cut use of chemical weapons against civilian populations in northern Syria on Tuesday April 4th violates long-established legal doctrine against the use of these indiscriminate and brutal weapons in war and has inflicted death on scores of civilian women and children.  The Syrian government attack in Khan…

President of India Honors FXB Fellow*

Dr. Satchit Balsari received a prestigious 2016 Dr B.C. Roy National Award from Pranab Mukherjee, President of India, at a ceremony in New Delhi on March 28, 2017. He was honored for outstanding services in the field of sociomedical relief. Dr. Balsari has long had an affiliation with the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, currently as a Research Fellow. He is also an alumnus of…

Realizing Roma Rights: Press Release

For Immediate Release, Boston MA, March 29, 2017 Today Harvard FXB research director Jacqueline Bhabha and instructor and director of the Roma Program Margareta Matache announce the release of Realizing Roma Rights, a volume they have edited with Andrzej Mirga, Chair of the Roma Education Fund. The book, published by University of Pennsylvania Press, investigates anti-Roma racism and documents a growing Roma-led political movement engaged in building a more inclusive and…

Stories from Aleppo: Medical Workers under Siege

By Marge Dwyer The stories told by health workers from Syria were heartbreaking. They spoke of making desperate attempts to save people injured in a chemical attack on a hospital… of struggling to save people’s eyesight after they were hit in the face by shrapnel and rocks… of delivering babies, only to have them die later because they needed crucial medicines that were not available because of war conditions. These…

Dr. Jumana Odeh Honored with 2017 World of Children Award

Congratulations to FXB fellow, Dr. Jumana Odeh, for her selection as one of four 2017 World of Children awardees. The award recognizes her for her long-standing work at the Palestinian Happy Child Centre in Ramallah with children who have developmental and learning disabilities or neurological disorders. This award is particularly prestigious as it is the alumni award–given to former awardees for their substantial further contributions. Dr. Odeh had previously been…

The Weaponization of Healthcare: From the Lancet/AUB Commission on Syria

On March 14, the Lancet-American University of Beirut (AUB) Commission on Syria, which FXB director Dr. Jennifer Leaning co-chairs, published its first health policy paper, “Health workers and the weaponisation of health care in Syria: a preliminary inquiry” by Fouad M. Fouad, Annie Sparrow, Ahmad Tarakji, Mohamad Alameddine, Fadi El-Jardali, Adam P. Coutts, Nour El Arnaout, Lama Bou Karroum, Mohammed Jawad, Sophie Roborgh, Aula Abbara, Fadi Alhalabi, Ibrahim AlMasri, and…

April 9 & 10 Culture Beyond Borders: The Roma Contribution

The FXB Center for Health and Human Rights will host the Fifth Annual Roma Conference, Culture Beyond Borders: The Roma Contribution, at Harvard University to mark International Roma Day. The event will bring together academic, literary, artistic, and student communities to explore the contributions of the Roma community to global culture, arts, and material production. The Harvard FXB Center has organized an event on International Roma Day for the past four years. Previous…

In the News: “What Is Best About Ourselves: We Welcome Others and Grow Together” FXB on U.S. Immigration Policy

The January 27 executive order restricting travel, immigration, and refugee entry to the United States signaled major policy changes in those areas. Despite the recent stay of the immigration order upheld by the 9th District Court of Appeals, litigation is likely to continue and the attitudes implicit in these orders are likely to reappear in policy. FXB’s director Jennifer Leaning and director of research Jacqueline Bhabha have recorded a podcast…

Why the Australia-US Deal? Unwanted, Stranded Refugees

Men standing on top of building with signs adking for help

By Alexandra Lancaster Undocumented migrants who embark on the perilous journey by sea to Australia in search of asylum are taken to detention centers offshore on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and on the Republic of Nauru (an impoverished island-country in the Pacific). There they are processed and there they stay. Australia is one of the few countries that allow people to be detained indefinitely. There are approximately 1200…

In the News: No Correlation Between Refugees and Terrorists, Facebook Live

Brief Background In a Facebook Live event (click here to go to the webcast of 45 minutes) at Harvard Kennedy School on February 3, Professor Jacqueline Bhabha, FXB’s director of research, discussed refugees and the January 27 US executive order on immigration with Matt Cadwallader. The order (full text here) covers several points, among them: a 90-day ban on all travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia,…

In the News: FXB and the US Immigration Executive Order

Late afternoon Friday, January 27, 2017, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order changing US policies and procedures regarding immigration and refugees. The situation is in flux. On February 3 in Seattle, federal judge James Robart, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, issued a nationwide stay, temporarily stopping enforcement of the order and ordering airlines to allow affected passengers to fly into the United States. Since the…

A Chilling Environment: Icy Conditions Threaten Migrants’ Health

tent covered in snow

By Vasileia Digidiki and Jacqueline Bhabha Struggling to manage Europe’s worst humanitarian crisis in recent history, with hundreds of thousands of migrants in legal limbo in all of Europe as anti-immigration sentiments gain ground, countries in Europe and the European Union (EU) in particular now face a new set of challenges: devastating weather conditions necessitating an immediate humanitarian response to end further loss of human life among the most vulnerable.…

Who Will Act on Behalf of the Rohingya People of Myanmar?

By Arlan Fuller Over the past three months, the Myanmar military has led a violent campaign targeting the Rohingya people in Rakhine State and currently shows no signs of relenting. In early October, the government cited an attack on border police as justification for a wide-sweeping offensive targeting men, women and children, with beatings, incinerated homes, systematic rape, and extrajudicial killings. In Myanmar (once known as Burma) on January 20,…

FXB and MEI Host “Building Bridges” Seminar: An Interdisciplinary Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

By Lara Jirmanus The Syrian refugee crisis has been described as the worst humanitarian crisis of our time.  The conflict, which began as a popular uprising in 2011, has become a battleground for regional and global powers, with over 400,000 killed and no end in sight. According to a December 2016 UN report, more than half of the Syrian population has been displaced, including at least 6.3 million internally, 4.8…

Accelerating the Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Eritrea

By Samuel Isaac The practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in Eritrea has been declining since initial data were collected in 1995. The percentage of girls and women who have undergone FGM/C declined from 95 percent in 1995 to 89 percent in 2002 and 83 percent in 2010.[1] In fact, 83 percent (the data point from 2010) might hide even greater recent progress, since the respondents who answered positively –…

Detention, Hunger Strikes, and Human Rights

Guest Post by Dana Moss On December 12, 2016, after Israel’s High Court of Justice refused to end the administrative detention of two Palestinian hunger strikers, moving only to suspend it, the Palestinians  vowed to continue their strike—and additionally to stop drinking water, which put them at immediate risk of death. Their case highlights the continued and excessive use of administrative detention in Israel (a procedure that allows the Israeli…

Health in Conflict: New Lancet-AUB Commission on Syria

For immediate release: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 “Syria has become the mirror, in which we face the grim reality that because of dismal failure at the level of politics, law, governance, and solidarity, our world has degraded in expectation, vision, and human security,” from “Comment: The Lancet–American University of Beirut Commission on Syria: A New Role for Global Health in Conflict and A Call for Papers,” The Lancet 388, Dec…

A Harsh New Reality: Transactional Sex Among Refugee Minors As a Means of Survival in Greece

By Vasileia Digidiki Nine months after the historic agreement between the European Union and Turkey,[1] approximately 60,000 refugees and migrants are stranded in Greece, waiting and hoping for another chance at resettlement in a safe country, away from the violence, war, and persecution they faced at home. Among these are an estimated 2,300 unaccompanied minors.[2] Continued daily arrivals further increase the number of vulnerable people stranded in Greece, as European…

Report Urges Justice and Reparations for Mexican Victims of Drug-Trade Mass Killings

By Krista Oehlke Violence stemming from the drug trade has been surmounting in Mexico for decades, taking an increased toll on civilian communities. In October 2016, Sergio Aguayo, FXB fellow and research professor at the Centro de Estudios Internacionale of the El Colegio de México,  released a new report investigating two mass killings in Mexico by the criminal organization known as Los Zetas. In 2010, the drug gang allegedly massacred…

Human-Centered Design, High School Kids, and Harvard Professors

By Rebecca Hope This guest post was originally published on the YLabs blog. Rebecca Hope discusses the importance of youth participatory approaches, which can place young people at the center of program design. She highlights the Harvard’s FXB Center and CIP Center’s 2012-2014 Reclaiming Adolescence project in Serbia, which aimed to address anti-Roma racism by strengthening Romani youth leadership in research and policy making. The program involved youth at every stage – from…

Children on the Move: Failure to Protect

Throughout the world, children flee peril in their place of origin, but often they exchange one set of dangers for another. A new report published today by Harvard University’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights finds that protection for children on the move, particularly during time of transit, is lacking worldwide. Children on the Move: An Urgent Human Rights and Child Protection Priority, which began as a research project…

The Legacy of Gypsy Studies in Modern Romani Scholarship

By Margareta Matache This is the second of a three-part blog series, “The White Norm in Gypsy and Romani Studies,” about the racialization and othering of Romani people against a white norm in standard Gypsy and Romani studies. The first segment explored the contribution of Gypsy studies to the perception of the Roma as inferior to their white European counterparts. This second segment shows how the legacy of such thinking…

A Golden Opportunity to Advocate for the Rights of Children with Disabilities

By Ruslana Sirman Recently, I stumbled over an article on the BBC News’ global website: Ukraine’s Paralympic success: What’s the secret? In the article, Ben Sutherland writes, “There is one country that, while producing its worst ever performance at the Rio Olympics… becomes a world superpower once the Paralympics start – Ukraine.” Sutherland labels Ukraine’s performance as “particularly astonishing given the country’s recent history, with an economic crisis, war in the…

No Health Without Housing in Haiti

destroyed street in Haiti

                By Victoria Fan, Bradley Chen, and Arlan Fuller Poor naked wretches, whereso’er you are, That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm, How shall your houseless heads . . . . . .  defend you From seasons such as these? —Shakespeare, King Lear, 3.4, lines 1831-35 Hurricane Matthew stormed through Haiti on October 4, killing hundreds and leaving many others without shelter. Hurricane…

Violence Against Children in Lao PDR

By Phetviengkhone Sayasane The 2006 United Nations Secretary-General’s World Report on Violence against Children indicates that violence against children, including child sexual abuse and severe physical violence, is a challenge in many countries. Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR)  is no exception. This violence cuts across boundaries of age, geography, religion, ethnicity and income. It also takes a multitude of forms, which are often rooted in social, cultural and economic practices.…

Confronting the Refugee Crisis

The work of Harvard FXB Center is featured in the third installment of an occasional Harvard Gazette series on the university’s engagement with the European refugee crisis. The piece makes reference to a new Harvard FXB report, Children on the Move: An Urgent Human Rights and Child Protection Priority, which analyzes the legal frameworks for protecting migrating children in various countries, along with case studies of the immigration situation in…

Global Coalition to End Child Poverty: New Briefing Paper & Website

The Global Coalition to End Child Poverty raises awareness of child poverty around the world and supports global and national action to alleviate it. On October 17 the coalition launched its new website and issued a briefing paper which outlines key building blocks addressing child poverty and offers evidence and experience that countries can use to support national policy discussions. Harvard FXB Center is one of some twenty partners that…

Donkeys for School: An Appropriate Intervention for Children Living with Disabilities in Eritrea

By Samuel Isaac Eritrea’s challenging terrain, with steep mountains and sandy lowlands, makes transportation difficult for children living with disabilities (CLWD). This is especially true for those with mobility difficulties, as the terrain hinders their to access school. In addition, some communities hide their disabled children, especially if the disability has been with the child since birth, aggravating the multidimensional violation of the child’s rights to education, health, entertainment and…

AT THE UN: Launch of a Global Alliance to Eradicate Forced Labor, Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Child Labor

By Elizabeth Donger The Sustainable Development Goals guide global action to address our collective and most pressing human challenges. September 21, 2016, marked the launch of a Global Alliance to address SDG 8.7: the eradication of forced labor, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labor. The alliance brings together diverse actors to collaborate and support each other in efforts to address these pervasive rights violations. At this side event of…

Prozak Diaries

Harvard FXB Center fellow Orkideh Behrouzan has published a new book, Prozak Diaries: Psychiatry and Generational Memory in Iran, an analysis of the development of psychiatric discourse in Iran in the post-1980s context. From the cover: “Orkideh Behrouzan traces the historical circumstances that prompted the development of psychiatric discourses in Iran and reveals the ways in which they both reflect and actively shape Iranians’ cultural sensibilities. A physician and an…