A Global Biometrics Project for Our Times

by Justin Hughes and Andrew Hopkins Preserving and protecting the identity of refugees has never been more critical. As hundreds of thousands continue to flee conflict and persecution across the world, the lack of a verifiable identity leaves many of them vulnerable to exploitation and limits their chances to get assistance and build a new life. Fears that this system will be exploited by criminals have contributed to the need…

Where’s the Sex in MNCH?

October 23, 2015. Harvard FXB Center’s Policy Director Alicia Yamin addressed the final plenary session of the Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference on October 21, 2015. While health is essential to the self-realization of all people, Yamin noted, a focus on the sexual and reproductive rights of women is especially important because allowing women to control their bodies and their lives is fundamental to their being seen as full, dignified…

Protecting Children in Crisis

by Krista Oehlke October 21, 2015. Jacqueline Bhabha yesterday launched this year’s child protection curriculum with a brown bag lunchtime talk entitled “Child Protection and Migration: From Crisis to Crisis.” Bhabha focused on some of the chief protection issues child migrants are facing in today’s world and demanded an overhaul of the way we address them. “Child migration needs to be a central aspect of how we think about in-country…

Fighting for the Right to Health in Kenya

October 21, 2015. This month Allan Maleche, a visiting scholar at Harvard FXB Center, was elected chair of the Global Fund Board’s Implementer Group. Maleche, a passionate human rights advocate, has been working in the field of health and human rights in Kenya, his home country, since 2007. Since 2010 he has served as executive director of KELIN, an award-winning NGO that works to protect and promote health-related human rights.…

Towards the End of Child Poverty

A Joint statement from the New Global Coalition to End Child Poverty October 16, 2015. The Global Coalition Against Child Poverty, of which Harvard FXB Center is a founding member, issued a joint statement, Towards the End of Child Poverty, today in anticipation of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on October 17. The joint statement aims to articulate the shared understanding of partners on the importance of…

Tracking Disease at World’s Largest Religious Festival

by Karen Feldscher September, 24, 2015 — From July through September this year, up to 30 million people are traveling to the cities of Nashik and Trimbakeshwar in India to bathe in the holy waters of the Godavari River, as part of the Kumbh Mela Hindu religious festival. Amidst this mass gathering—supported by acres and acres of temporary parking lots, police stations, fire stations, health clinics, streetlights and toilets—a small…

Fourth Legal Latin American Congress on Reproductive Rights: Violence against Women and Reproductive Justice

Harvard FXB Policy Director Alicia Ely Yamin will deliver a keynote address the Fourth Legal Latin American Congress on Reproductive Rights in Peru in November 2015. Objectives Promote dialogue between judicial officers, legislators, academic scholars, and activists on the importance of incorporating international standards of protection of reproductive rights as human rights in court decisions and public policy. Strengthen legal arguments and judicial interpretations with a gender, public health, and…

$100K for 100 Romani Champions in Serbia

By Margareta Matache and Arlan Fuller August 11, 2015. Harvard FXB has been selected as one of 100 organizations that will receive grants of $100,000 each through the Cummings Foundation’s “$100K for 100” program. Our plan is to work with 100 Romani adolescents from four university centers in Serbia to (1) identify the drivers of their success in education and (2) strengthen their leadership skills. The Romani Champions project, chosen…

New Book: “Power, Suffering, and the Struggle for Dignity”

Harvard FXB policy director Alicia Ely Yamin has authored a new book, Power, Suffering and the Struggle for Dignity: Human Rights Frameworks for Health and Why They Matter. Featuring a foreword by Paul Farmer, the book is directed at a diverse audience (students, legal and public health practitioners, and others) and provides a solid argument for the transformative potential of human rights-based frameworks. From the cover: “This book represents a…

Physicians, Torture Survivors and Jails

by Ross MacDonald, Zachary Rosner, and Homer Venters August 3, 2015. Since the United Nations Convention Against Torture was adopted in 1984, training physicians to care for survivors of torture has become a valuable addition to traditional medical education. Throughout the world, there are approximately 50 programs and clinics dedicated to caring for survivors of torture, with many more medical and mental health professionals caring for these patients in other…

New UNHCHR Guide for Natl Human Rights Institutions

July 23, 2015. Harvard FXB, working in partnership with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the World Health Organization, among other key partners, has produced a quick reference guide to help national human rights institutions and independent human rights institutions to effectively and meaningfully implement a human rights-based approach (HRBA) to sexual and reproductive health, maternal health andunder-5 child health. From the introduction: “National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs)…

New UNHCHR Guide for Health Policy Makers

July 23, 2015. Harvard FXB, working in partnership with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the World Health Organization, among other key partners, has produced a guide to help health policy makers “effectively and meaningfully implement a human rights-based approach to sexual and reproductive health, maternal health and under-5 child health. From the introduction: Health policy makers have an important role to play in contributing to both the…

Kenya, Forced Sterilization, & Women with HIV

by Antonia Chan “…women were even asked to sign consent forms for their sterilization while in labor.” July 21, 2015. The High Court of Kenya has begun reviewing two important cases on the human rights of people living with HIV. The first concerns the forced or coerced sterilization of HIV-positive women; the second challenges a directive from Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to list the names of HIV-positive individuals, including children.…

Financing Health for Women and Children Everywhere

June 10, 2015. Harvard FXB director Jennifer Leaning, along with Kathleen Hamill and Elizabeth Gibbons, both fellows at the center, participated substantively in the development of Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent, Everywhere: Financing Sexual Reproductive, Maternal , Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health in Every Setting. The report is the outcome of an experts meeting hosted by the World Bank Group and the United Arab Emirates that explored the financial…

Flawed New Proposals to Reform Child Labor Law in India

by Angela Duger and Jacqueline Bhabha “These exceptions strip the reform of its power…” July 9, 2105. On May 13, 2015, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Modi, approved some far-reaching changes to India’s child labor laws.[1] This move brings the country one step closer to adopting the 2012 Amendment to the long outdated 1986 Child Labor Act, which has for nearly 30 years regulated child labor throughout India.…

Solitary Confinement & Mental Illness: Letter to the Editor & Author Response

by Thomas R. Blair and Keramet A. Reiter Among approximately two million incarcerated people in the United States, fifty percent or more have mental illness. To the Editors: Glowa-Kollisch and colleagues present a well-considered and pragmatically impactful examination of “dual loyalty” concerns for mental health professionals in New York City jails.[1] We appreciate their particular focus on solitary confinement, and their recognition that “many institutions employ health and mental health…

Social Protection and Human Rights

July 7, 2015. The Social Protection and Human Rights platform promotes awareness of human rights based approaches to social protection. Its aim is to encourage critical thinking about current systems of social protection and to help bridge gaps between policy and practice. Established in 2013, the platform is an initiative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC),…

Ali’s Triumph

June 23, 2015. When he was just over a year old, Rahel noticed that her little boy, Ali, did not behave like other children. He liked to be alone, spending hours and hours in front of the television or staring at nothing at all. She tried playing games with him, but he didn’t seem to notice. When she called, he didn’t answer. He didn’t speak, or look others in the…

The Struggles of Roma in Kosovo

Mitrovica Bridge

By Dr. Bernd Franke June 19, 2015. In December 2014, local residents of Llaushë/Lauša village, in the city of Skenderaj in northern Kosovo, approached the Department of Forensic Medicine and reported a possible mass grave in the village cemetery. Four bodies had been buried there in the late nineties, during the Kosovo War, they said. In late April of this year, forensic experts from the European Union Rule of Law…

Resource Guide

Harvard FXB, by invitation from Open Society Foundations (OSF), has developed the 5th edition of the Health and Human Rights Resource Guide. The Resource Guide has been designed to be a user-friendly, multi-purpose tool in advocating for health and human rights with a wide array of users, including health workers, trainers, program designers, litigators, and policymakers. The Resource Guide covers basic concepts in health and human rights. The introduction provides…

Health, Human Rights & Social Justice

Program Goals The Health, Human Rights, and Social Justice program, founded and directed by Alicia Ely Yamin, JD, MPH, is informed by the view that the lack of global progress on women’s and children’s health is not principally due to technical obstacles, but rather to entrenched societal barriers and lack of political will at both the national and international levels. Solutions that ignore root causes and underlying inequalities and power…

Gender & Adolescence

Program Goals The Gender and Adolescent Agency program at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights investigates the factors impinging on educational access for marginalized, Indian adolescent girls, as part of a more general inquiry into agency and empowerment. The goal of the program is to probe the enduring challenge of female educational disadvantage in India in order to  generate an evidence base for enhancing the access of disadvantaged…

Gender, Children, & Maternal Death

June 3, 2015. We now know that the toll of maternal death is far higher than generally assumed. This means that the drop in maternal mortality seen in some countries over the past decade is not by itself sufficient measure of the success of efforts to prioritize maternal health on the global health agenda. Maternal death is not just about mothers. “Tracing Shadows: How Gendered Power Relations Shape the Impacts…

Fighting School Segregation in Europe

by Margareta Matache and Arlan Fuller “The Roma movement has not been yet ready to…use protest, as a strategic pressure tactic.” May 27, 2015. School segregation stands as a stark expression of historic and current injustice against the Roma in Europe. In spite of legal and policy measures that now exist, the practice has neither stopped nor significantly diminished, as emphasized by Harvard FXB and DARE-Net in the Strategies and…

Empowering Roma Youth

The FXB Center is leading the Reclaiming Adolescence: Roma Transitions to Adulthood initiative, a three-year participatory action research project with Roma and non-Roma youths aged 15 to 25 in Serbia, Romania and Italy. The aim is to address the profound marginalization of the Roma community in Europe by developing and empowering the next generation of Roma youth leaders. This will contribute to an improved understanding of the policies, programs and…