Mu’addameen: I offer them to you

The story of a Syrian refugee family in Jordan By Josyann Abisaab September 14, 2015. In Middle Eastern culture, when one expresses admiration for personal belongings such as clothing, jewelry, or decorative accessories, it is customary to offer the praised object in return. However, I did not expect the delicate-faced woman with the melancholic smile wearing a long, black dress and matching embroidered headscarf to offer me her most precious…

A Practical Manifesto for Women and Children’s Health

At an intensive two-day June meeting in Washington, DC, sponsored by UNFPA, center director Jennifer Leaning joined colleagues from around the world to write the penultimate draft of Every Woman, Every Child, a practical manifesto to embed in the discussion of the Sustainable Development Goals that will take place at the meeting of the UN General Assembly  this September in New York City.  The aim during this final drafting workshop…

Groundbreaking Technical Follow-up Commission

Policy Director Alicia Ely Yamin is part of a commission that will report on Brazil’s implementation of Alyne da Silva Pimental v Brazil, a 2008 CEDAW (UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) Committee  decision recognizing states’ enforceable obligation to address and reduce maternal mortality. This marks the first time any technical follow-up commission has been engaged in providing expert input of this kind on the decision of…

Roma Children’s Fight for Education

By Abbey Interrante August 12, 2015. When István was a young child, he aspired to become a dance instructor, just like his father. Another boy, András wanted to become a car mechanic. However, as young boys, István and András were held back from achieving these dreams by their school in Hungary—simply for being Roma. When they were seven years old, István and András were tested for a mental disability by…

$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),…