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…

New Report on Child Protection Challenges in the European Refugee and Migration Crisis (Video)

The Harvard FXB Center has today released a new report detailing the effect of the European refugee and migration crisis on the small Greek island of Lesbos. Here, Jacqueline Bhabha and report author visiting scholar Vasileia Digidiki discuss the urgent and growing child protection challenges and violations on the ground in Lesbos and consider the policy implications of the crisis as a whole on the international child protection system.

Jennifer Leaning on Erosion of Medical Neutrality

Center director Jennifer Leaning was interviewed by CBC Radio’s “The Current,” the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s flagship national current affairs program, as part of a panel conversation on the subject of medical neutrality. “There’s definitely no safe place for medical assets, medical hospitals, medical personnel. What we’re facing with a complete, I would say, a complete collapse of the very fundamental norm of medical neutrality,” Leaning said. See the full CBC…

State Sponsored Collective Injustice: Reparations for Roma

Responses to State Sponsored Collective Injustice (past event poster with a photo of the memorial for the Roma holocaust

By John Anusavice On April 8, 2016, Harvard University held its fourth annual Roma conference on the 26 anniversary of International Roma Day. The conference was a pioneering effort to address the wide-ranging question of reparations and to advocate for joint action across historical and geographical spheres. In particular, the event marked a starting point for moving the topic of Romani reparations from the margins of academic and institutional interest…

Child Protection in Iran: A Look at Today

by Krista Oehlke On Wednesday, April 13, as part of Harvard FXB Center’s Works-in-Progress series, , G. Barrie Landry Fellow Maneli Aghakan delivered a presentation on the current state of child protection in Iran. Aghakhan comes to Harvard from the UNICEF Iran office, where she heads the child protection unit. Aghakhan, along with Landry Fellow Ketevan Melikadze, of Georgia, will finish her MPH at the Harvard Chan School with a…

EU Approach to the Syrian Migrant Crisis Ignores the Welfare of Those Already Settled in Europe

“Politicians and the public should be wary of the false reassurance afforded by the decrease in migration rates as a result of the Europe-Turkey agreement.” by Jonathan M. Clarke Recent news reports have described a dramatic reduction in the number of migrants arriving on the shores of Greek islands. On March 26, 2016, the Guardian newspaper reported that the number of migrants arriving on Greek shores had “slowed to a…

The Mean Bargain: The EU/Turkey Refugee and Migrant Deal

The agreement will “create a precedent for globalized indifference to suffering, even when that suffering is on one’s own doorstep…” On March 18 EU leaders and Turkey finally struck their long discussed Grand Bargain. In return for becoming Europe’s buffer against distress migrants fleeing devastating conflict and hardship, President Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian government extracted valuable political and economic booty – the prospect of visa-free travel to the EU for Turkish…

Ending Forced Labor in India: What Does It Take?

For immediate release: Thursday, March 31, 2016 Boston, MA – Neither legal nor socio-economic interventions have eradicated widespread forced and bonded labor in India. But a new report published today by Harvard University’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights provides some hope for progress. With detailed evidence and meticulous analysis, the report documents the very positive impact of a community organization’s work on entrenched labor exploitation in Uttar Pradesh, India’s…

Alicia Yamin Featured in ActiveHistory’s History Slam Podcast

Harvard FXB Center policy director Alicia Ely Yamin was a recent guest on ActiveHistory.ca’s History Slam Podcast. The 40+ minute conversation centered on her new book, Power, Suffering, and the Struggle for Dignity. Along with discussing human rights in a technical sense, Yamin also shares some of the pivotal personal experiences that informed the writing of her book. Check out History Slam’s website for the full podcast and review of…

India’s Approach to the Rescue and Reintegration of Trafficked Children Marred by Poor Coordination, Lack of Accountability

For immediate release: Monday, March 21, 2016 Boston, MA – Labor trafficking is a gross violation that affects hundreds of thousands of Indian children each year. Despite the Indian government’s considerable attention to the problem, the rescue and reintegration apparatus is beset by a range of problems that can leave children at risk of further harm, according to a new report published today by Harvard University’s FXB Center for Health…

Welcome to FXB Fellow Maria del Pilar Carmona

Attorney Maria del Pilar Carmona comes to us from Colombia, where she has for the past three years worked as a research associate and project manager for the Center for Socio-Legal Studies at Universidad de los Andes. Maria has also worked as a lawyer for the Colombian government and as a consultant for the Mexican Supreme Court, the Organization for Health Excellence in Colombia, UN Women, and the World Bank,…

SDG SERIES: Leaving No One Behind: Human Rights and Accountability

By Rebecca Brown At the upcoming Summit to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN will adopt the broadest political agreement to date, which in its Preamble announces the goals of eradicating poverty and inequality, achieving sustainable development, realizing the human rights of all, and achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. The agreement rightly points out that it is unprecedented in its scope. Overall,…

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),…