Working Papers Old Draft



The Sale of Children for Labor Exploitation. Child labor represents one of the most pressing human rights challenges of our time, denying over 168 million children worldwide their fundamental rights to education, play and health. This research was conducted in response to the request of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography for a review of the scope of the sale of children for labor exploitation, and for a summary of good practices and successful initiatives to prevent and eliminate the problem. Contents are based on a comprehensive literature review, including academic sources and reports by international organizations and non-profits. Extensive qualitative interviews were conducted with thirteen prominent child labor experts and activists.


Capture-PEPID-case-studiesEmpowering People with Intellectual Disabilities: Living Communities in Massachusetts. This working paper offers a set of case studies examining good practices in the provision of services – with an emphasis on housing – to those with intellectual disabilities. It documents the efforts of a small number of grassroots organizations, reviewing their approaches, lessons learned, and challenges encountered in developing their respective model of care provision. An aim of the study is to highlight the enormous burden of care shouldered by families and highlight the ways in which they can be supported, taking into account existing polity, local conditions, cultural norms, and resources.



Capture-PERILS-working-paper1Perils and Possibilities: Reflections on the Use of Scientific Evidence in Abortion Court Cases and Why the Public Health Community Should Care. As state legislatures across the United States usher in health-justified abortion restrictions, courts are increasingly called upon to analyze the effects of these laws on women’s rights and to evaluate the role that empirical evidence should play in this analysis. Examples from a systematic review of 70 state and federal cases challenging the constitutionality of abortion restrictions from 2011-2015 illustrate perils and possibilities for the consideration of scientific evidence in abortion cases. Overall, courts do not take a uniform approach to incorporating public health and medical evidence into their analyses of burdens imposed by abortion restrictions on women’s health and lives, which leads to varying normative constructions of rights, and gross abortion access inequalities across the country. More concerted efforts are required among public health researchers and advocates to ensure that scientific methods and findings are understood by courts and subsequently translated into rulings that affect women’s lives.


© UNICEF/NIGB2010-0078/Pirozzi
© UNICEF/NIGB2010-0078/Pirozzi

Accountability for Children’s Rights. With Special Attention to Social Accountability and Its Potential to Achieve Results and Equity for Children. Liz Gibbons, March 2015. Emerging information shows the benefits of social accountability to governance, citizenship and development outcomes. This paper focuses on the potential of social accountability to achieve results and equity for children. It also outlines how social accountability can help children and adolescents engage meaningfully with issues that affect them and their communities. A working paper by Harvard FXB fellow Liz Gibbons for UNICEF’s Human Rights Unit.


Freedom from Violence and the Law-coverpageFreedom from Violence and the Law: A Global Perspective, R. de Silva de Alwis and J. Klugman, January 2015. Continuing Harvard FXB’s interest in examining how applying human rights frameworks might contribute to the global development agenda, this paper explores how a human rights framework can support efforts to eradicate gender-based violence as a critical element of the post-2015 global development agenda. The paper seeks to illustrate the powerful impact that law, as a social determinant of health, can have, but also underscores how the effective enjoyment of rights in practice must go beyond the legal domain to broader political, institutional, and social shifts.

The authors review major constitutional and statutory developments and argue that the impressive legislative reforms of the past decade are unlikely to be implemented effectively without the evidence and accountability brought by high quality, consistent monitoring and evaluation. They further assert that women’s groups and civil society can add indispensable contributions to this process.

The Power of Numbers: A Critical Review of MDG Targets and Indicators

Capture-Power-of-Number-book-coverThe Power of Numbers project is a goal-by-goal analysis of the Millennium Development Goals which refocuses the debate on the MDGs, assessing whether they have shifted the policy priorities of governments, donors, NGOs, and other stakeholders. The analysis brings much needed attention to understanding the global goals as policy instruments, and seeks to inform discussions of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. The papers below have been further developed and have been published in book form.

Overview – The Power of Numbers: A Critical Review of MDG Targets for Human Development and Human Rights, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr and Alicia Ely Yamin, May 2013.

Lessons for Setting Targets and Selecting Indicators – The Power of Numbers: A Critical Review of MDG Targets for Human Development and Human Rights, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr and Alicia Ely Yamin, May 2013.

Synthesis Paper – The Power of Numbers: A Critical Review of MDG Targets for Human Development and Human Rights, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Alicia Ely Yamin, and Joshua Greenstein, May 2013.

The inclusion of Full Employment in MDG1, What lessons for a Post-2015 Development Agenda?, Rolph van der Hoeven, May 2013.

Setting an Income Poverty Goal After 2015, Ugo Gentilini and Andy Sumner, May 2013.

The MDG Hunger Target and the Contested Visions of Food Security, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr and Amy Orr, May 2013.

Education targets, indicators and a post-2015 development agenda: Education for All, the MDGs, and human development, Elaine Unterhalter, May 2013.

No Empowerment without Rights, No Rights without Politics: Gender-Equality, MDGs and the post 2015 Development Agenda, Gita Sen and Avanti Mukherjee, May 2013.

The Questionable Power of the Millennium Development Goal to Reduce Child Mortality, Elisa Diaz-Martinez and Elizabeth D. Gibbons, May 2013.

From Transforming Power to Counting Numbers: The evolution of sexual and reproductive health and rights in development; and where we want to go from here, Alicia Ely Yamin and Vanessa M. Boulanger, May 2013.

MDG 6: AIDS and the International Health Agenda, Nicoli Nattrass, May 2013.

The City is Missing in the Millennium Development Goals, Michael Cohen, May 2013.

Quantifying Water and Sanitation in Development Cooperation: Power or Perversity?, Malcolm Langford and Inga T. Winkler, May 2013.

Analysis of Millennium Development Goal 8: A global partnership for development, Aldo Caliari, May 2013.