New Study Calls Attention to Inequities in Police Violence in U.S. Metropolitan Areas

An article, authored by FXB Center Doctoral Student Cohort Members Gabriel L. Schwartz and Jaquelyn L. Jahn, reveals the stark inequities in fatal police violence between Black and White populations in U.S. metropolitan areas. The article, published in PLOS ONE, estimates rates of fatal police violence for every metropolitan area in the country, as well as racial inequities in those rates. The authors analyzed the most recent, complete data—from 2013…

Harvard University Centers Condemn Recent Police Violence in the United States

The following is a joint statement from the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University,  Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School, the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School, and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. Note: please see below for a list of additional co-signers. “We…

Op-Ed: The coronavirus could hit the U.S. harder than other wealthy countries

In an Washington Post op-ed published today, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights Director Dr. Mary T. Bassett and Executive Director Natalia Linos write about how the United States’ response to the coronavirus is likely to reveal deep failures and reinforce existing health inequities. In it, they write: “The polarized political climate makes the threat posed by those long-standing inequities far more dangerous. At least three social phenomena…

Op-Ed: Greece’s proposed ‘floating wall’ shows the failure of EU migration policies

In a recent op-ed, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights Instructor Vasileia Digidiki and Professor Jacqueline Bhabha, Director of Research, write about the flaws of Greece’s “floating wall” proposal to deter migrants. In it, they write, “Like Trump’s wall, it will signal the intent to keep out migrants; and like Trump’s wall it will fail to do so.” The op-ed continues to highlight the harms of Europe’s migration policies and…

FXB Center Stands in Solidarity With Sergio Aguayo

François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights Director Dr. Mary T. Bassett and Director of Research Professor Jacqueline Bhabha recently penned a letter to the Supreme Court of Mexico in support of Dr. Sergio Aguayo, journalist and FXB fellow. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Dr. Aguayo was ordered by a Mexico City court to pay a fine of 10 million pesos to former Coahuila state governor Humberto…

Press Release: New Report Evaluates Innovative Approach to Child Protection in India

January 13, 2020 For Immediate Release A new FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University report underscores the need for innovative community strategies to prevent serious violations of children’s rights. The report, “Before, Not After: An Evaluation of CINI’s Preventative Approach to Child Protection in India,” authored by Elizabeth Donger and Jacqueline Bhabha, documents and evaluates the harm prevention work carried out by the children’s rights nonprofit…

New Study Highlights Critical Gaps in the United States’ Special Education System

A new Harvard Educational Review article, “Racial Differences in Special Education Identification and Placement,” examines how the United States’ special education system is failing to serve communities of color equitably from start to finish, from identification to classroom placement. The article, authored by Todd Grindal, Laura Schifter, Gabriel Schwartz, and Thomas Hehir, analyzes the anonymous data of approximately 4.5 million public school students living in three states around the country.…

Celebrating 25 Years in Latest HHRJ Issue

The December 2019 issue of Health and Human Rights marks its 25th year of publication. Celebrating the occasion, the editors dedicate the issue to founding editor Jonathan Mann and to Albina du Boisrouvray, who, as Mann wrote in his first editorial, “immediately understood, provided the means, and continues to share ideas and inspiration with us.” Published by the FXB Center since that first issue in 1994, the journal is now welcoming…

Press Release: New Harvard FXB/IOM Report Highlights Need for Better Support for Young Migrants Who Returned Home

New Harvard FXB/IOM Report Highlights Need for Better Support for Young Migrants Who Returned Home For Immediate Release November 12, 2019 A new Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights and International Organization for Migration (IOM) report finds that young migrants who returned home from Libya to Nigeria often face serious challenges in their efforts to reintegrate into society. The report, “Returning Home? The Reintegration Challenges Facing Children and…

Professor Bhabha: States Have an Obligation to Protect Migrant Children

A new International Organization for Migration (IOM) report released today takes a closer look at the deaths and disappearances of migrants around the world. “Fatal Journeys: Volume 4” focuses on missing migrant children. According to IOM data, nearly 1,600 children have been reported dead or missing since 2014 – a likely undercount. Although it is well known that children are one of the most vulnerable groups of migrants, data on…

Harvard Chan: This Week in Health Podcast Featuring Dr. Mary T. Bassett & Cecile Richards

Cecile Richards

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/632666883″ params=”color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”300″ iframe=”true” /] The June 6th episode of Harvard Chan: This Week in Health features a special conversation between Cecile Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood and one of the co-founders of Supermajority, and Mary T. Bassett, director of the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights. Richards spoke about how Supermajority is working to empower women and organize them around key issues related to gender equity, including…

Powering the Personal Health Record: Catalysts and Barriers in India

Harvard FXB's Dr. Satchit Balsari speaks at the workshop.

Harvard FXB’s Dr. Satchit Balsari speaks at the workshop. On April 3rd, the India Digital Health Net (IDHN), a multidisciplinary research and development initiative established to support an Application Programming Interface-enabled (API) federated health data architecture in India, convened a workshop in New Delhi to learn from the several initiatives across the country that are building components of what may ultimately become India’s health tech grid.  The workshop was organized with support…

Beyond Maria: Leading With Science

In late May this year, a collaborative team from Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and Carlos Albizu University in Puerto Rico published “Mortality in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria” in the New England Journal of Medicine, their study which suggested that the then official Puerto Rican death registry numbers of 64 excess deaths…

Dean Williams names Mary Bassett incoming director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights

Harvard FXB Director Dr. Mary T. Bassett

Today Michelle Williams, Dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health announced that Dr. Mary Bassett would succeed Dr. Jennifer Leaning as director of Harvard FXB, with the transition in leadership beginning in September. As Dr. Leaning wrote about her decision to step down last November, “My reasons for stepping down next fall are ones tied to the writing that I hope to do, and the time it…

Professor Jacqueline Bhabha on Family Separation and Migration

Separation at the border On June 27, our colleague Chris Sweeney in the Harvard Chan Office of Communications interviewed Harvard FXB’s director of research, Professor Jacqueline Bhabha, on family separation for their feature Three Questions.  Below is an excerpt from the piece, with one question and answer: In all of your years working on migrant issues around the world, have you ever seen a similar policy enacted? I can’t think…

June 22, 2018 Harvard FXB Statement on US Zero Tolerance Policy

Statement Banner

President Trump introduced a “zero tolerance” immigration policy on April 6, 2018, as a seemingly fail-safe measure to prevent what he calls undesirables from seeking to enter the US across the border with Mexico. He launched the policy to elevate his stature as the defender of an American populace under threat. His account is eerily reminiscent of pronouncements by genocidal regimes dehumanizing targeted groups. Rwandan Hutus described their Tutsi targets…

Psychology holds key to getting people out before disaster strikes

Mass evacuations in response to natural disasters like Hurricane Maria are a logistical challenge, but also face psychological barriers to residents being willing and able to leave. EPA Elizabeth Newnham, Curtin University; Rex Pui-kin Lam, University of Hong Kong, and Satchit Balsari, Harvard University Natural disasters are becoming more frequent and intense. Recent hurricanes, floods, bushfires and earthquakes have highlighted the significant potential for mass trauma. Yet we know relatively…

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…

Albina du Boisrouvray Receives France’s Highest Honor: Transforming Tragedy into Humanitarian Action

by Harvard FXB Staff On March 14, 2017, Albina du Boisrouvray was awarded the honor of Officier de la Légion d’honneur, France’s highest order of merit, in a ceremony at the Quai d’Orsay in Paris, France. Jean-Marc Ayrault, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, presided over the ceremony attended by close friends and family, including Bernard Kouchner, the founder of Médecins sans Frontières, with whom she worked for…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Word, Image and Thought: Creating the Romani Other

 By Margareta Matache This is the first of a three-part blog series about the racialization and othering of Roma people against a white norm in standard Gypsy and Romani studies. This first segment explores the contribution of Gypsy studies to the perception of the Roma as inferior to his or her white, European counterpart. The second blog shows how the legacy of such thinking manifests itself in modern Romani scholarship.…

AT THE UN: UNGA 2016: A Historic Moment for Refugees and Migrants

“The bitter truth is, this summit was called because we have been largely failing.”  By Libby Whitbeck This year the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held its first-ever Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants. This is the only time in the UN’s 71-year history that the General Assembly has called on heads of state, UN system leadership, civil society, the private sector, international organizations, and academia to…

Welcome 2016-2017 Landry/UNICEF Fellows

The center is pleased to welcome four new mid-career professionals from UNICEF, all of whom will pursue a certificate in child protection through the Harvard/UNICEF Child Protection Certificate Program. This year, course offerings within the curriculum have been broadened to reflect the complexity of the child protection field and are being offered not only at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health but also at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Divinity School…

Migration Experts on Children on the Move

Jacqueline Bhabha is featured in the new edition of Unicef Innocenti research center’s Research Watch, which focuses on Children on the Move, an area of work in which professor Bhabha and her research team are deeply engaged. The new edition highlights the urgent need to develop solid child migration policy based on current, rapidly evolving global realities. It features a series of video interviews with leading experts including Bhabha, Andrea…

Heather Adams: Remembering a Visionary Leader in Disability Rights and a Beloved Friend

by Jacqueline Bhabha and Jennifer Leaning When we think of public health crises today, autism is not likely to top our list. Yet, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it should be a front and center concern. One in sixty-eight children and one in forty-two boys in the US were diagnosed with autism spectrum diseases in 2012, and the numbers are steadily rising.[1] Globally the scale…

Professionalizing Child Protection: Q&A with OHCHR’s Cecile Aptel

“There is a growing recognition that children are not just adults in the making or mini-adults, but are themselves rights-holders.” This year Professor Cécile Aptel, a visiting professor at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and a fellow at Harvard FXB Center, will teach International Perspectives on Justice for Children as part of Harvard FXB Center’s Child Protection Certificate Program, which is undertaken in partnership with UNICEF. Professor…

New EdX Course: Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster

Center director Jennifer Leaning, with Michael Van Rooyen, director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, are co-instructors in a new EdX course focused on the principles guiding humanitarian response to modern emergencies and the challenges faced in the current global climate. As of August 30, 2016, enrollment in this tremendously popular offering numbered almost 16,000, with students representing 188 countries. As of today, September 7, enrollment is still open for the…

Call for Papers: Romani Global Diaspora: Implementation of the Right to Health

This Special Section of the Health and Human Rights Journal will examine the implementation of the right to health in the case of Romani populations across the globe. It will draw attention to ongoing discrimination against the Roma and Roma-related groups in relation to realization of the right to health.  Articles will consider access to health among Romani communities in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Guest editors are Jacqueline…

2016-2017 Seminar Series: Responding to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Over the next two semesters Harvard FXB Center, in partnership with Harvard’s Middle East Initiative, will present a seminar series, Building Bridges: Responding to the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Scholars, practitioners, and thought leaders from across the Harvard and Boston communities engaged in research on Syrian refugees will discuss challenges and innovative solutions to promote refugee wellbeing. The series will be led by Harvard FXB fellow Lara Jirmanus, whose research focuses…

India Anti-Trafficking Bill Changes Little for Child Laborers, but Activists Continue Fight from the Bottom Up

By Elizabeth Donger The number of people trafficked in India for forced labor has been estimated at anything between 20 and 65 million. In June 2016 the Indian government published a new draft anti-trafficking bill that has been hailed by some as the country’s first-ever comprehensive anti-trafficking law and applauded for strengthening criminal investigation and prosecution processes. Yet due to several glaring issues this bill constitutes another missed opportunity to…

Human-Rights Based Approaches for Health Workers

With the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other partners, Harvard FXB Center has published a new quick reference guide to support health workers to effectively implement a human rights-based approach (HRBA) to sexual and reproductive health, maternal health and under-5 child health. The guide also invites practitioners to reflect on questions designed to help promote the protection of women and children’s rights at every level…

Fortress America: The US’s Willful Exclusion of Children Seeking Refuge from the Child Murder Capitals of the World

On July 28, 2016, the International Crisis Group released a detailed report on contemporary refugee flight from Central America. Easy Prey: Criminal Violence and Central American Migration, presents a stark picture of the tragedy unfolding to the immediate South of the US and is a troubling account of the US’s complicity in serious human rights violations. The latest in a long series of studies of the mass, northbound distress migration…

CALL FOR PAPERS: Discrimination against Roma & Effects on Health

Submission deadline: 28 February 2017 by Jacqueline Bhabha, Margareta Matache, and Teresa Sordé Martí Wherever they live, whether in low- or high-income regions, Roma populations experience significantly greater difficulty accessing health rights than the majority population.  A substantial body of research and several civil society reports reflect serious concern regarding the implementation of fundamental principles that are essential tools for ensuring a universal right to health.  According to these materials,…

India Moves Back to 19th Century for Most Vulnerable Children

“This measure is diametrically opposed to what India’s poorest children need.” by Jacqueline Bhabha On Tuesday July 26, 2016, the Lok Sabha, India’s lower house of Parliament, approved a Child Labour Amendment Bill that could increase legal child labor in India, despite the government’s claims to the contrary. This measure is diametrically opposed to what India’s poorest children need.  As our recent report on child trafficking in India recently demonstrates,…

Empowering People with Disabilities: New Harvard FXB Working Paper

Empowering People with Intellectual Disabilities looks at good practice examples of building communities for adults with intellectual disabilities, including autism.  Good practice means humane and dignified provision of services and housing that meet the needs of this population age 22 and over. The discussion is based on the author’s great experience and knowledge of the rights of people with disabilities.  She concludes that the good models must be scaled up,…

Taking Action to Combat Child Trafficking in India

“We cannot separate protection from prevention. This represents a false dichotomy” Every year in India, thousands of children are trafficked across the country to work long hours in highly exploitative conditions. Thanks to the efforts of official agencies, a small proportion of these children are rescued and returned to their home states. However, a recently released report by the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights reveals that despite…

Protecting and Integrating Children on the Move

How Germany and Sweden responded to the unprecedented number of children seeking asylum during the current European refugee and migration crisis. By Shanoor Seervai When almost 1.3 million migrants crossed the Mediterranean last year seeking refuge in Europe, each country faced a choice—help those fleeing unspeakable violence and suffering or close the borders and make the lives of these people even more difficult. Germany and Sweden are two countries that…

Special Journal Issue: Tuberculosis and the Right to Health

We are delighted to announce the release of the June 2016 Issue of Health and Human Rights Journal, with a special section on tuberculosis and the right to health. The issue comprises 23 papers covering a vast range of topics. Nine papers in the Special Section cover TB and the right to health. Please take a few minutes to check out our largest ever issue. Selected Articles Petition 329: A…

Seeking Safety Alone

by Jacqueline Bhabha In a recent paper, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrants noted: “Given the EU’s share of global resources and wealth of substantive normative standards, recent deaths at sea, the suffering seen at all stages of migration and other human rights issues have to be understood not as the result of some kind of powerlessness, but of political will and policy choices.” This observation applies…

A First of Its Kind Measure to Protect Children

Center research director Jacqueline Bhabha has co-drafted the newly released Recommended Principles for Children on the Move and Other Children Affected by Migration. The Principles were developed via a consultative process with a large number of experts from the United Nations, academia, donor agencies, and civil society organizations. The Principles are written with clarity and concision and agreed on by all major stakeholders. As such, they are the first of…

Tribunal Hears Testimony on Maternal Death in Mexico

Last month Alicia Yamin, our director of policy, served as a judge on the Symbolic Tribunal on Maternal Death and Obstetric Violence in Mexico City. Yamin and her co-judges heard harrowing testimony from 27 women, family members, and service providers from around the country. The tribunal was organized by the Grupo de Información en Reproducción (GIRE) and over 20 co-hosting organizers, including  Harvard FXB Center. The tribunal has a long history…