Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: Accelerating Change
The United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Children’s Fund
— The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) established the Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): Accelerating Change in 2007. Its goal is to contribute to the abandonment of FGM/C in 17 countries in Africa by fostering a rapid shift in social norms. UNFPA and UNICEF partnered with the Program on International Health Human Rights at HSPH to establish human rights based and culturally sensitive process and outcome indicators to highlight the specific contributions of the Joint Programme to FGM/C eradication. From this, current work on their project includes production of a set of reporting tools, data analysis and related publications.
Evaluating the Impact of Integrating Legal Support and Health Care
The Open Society Institute
— Integrating legal aid and health services is recognized as a novel way to empower communities and address human rights violations underlying poor health. At HSPH, the Program on International Health and Human Rights collaborates with the Open Society Institute to use human rights concepts and methods to evaluate the impact of integrating legal aid and health services for four Kenyan NGOs. Program staff have completed the first phase of data collection and produced a report summarizing evaluation findings. The drafting of an article for peer review publication summarizing the methods used and lessons learned is underway. Currently, GHHR is completing the second phase of the project which includes a second report of findings, data analysis from the second phase of data collection, and a second article for peer review summarizing findings specific to the four organizations evaluated.
Monitoring and Evaluation of Human Rights in HIV Responses
— Human rights are recognized as the cornerstone of the response to HIV, but their actual contribution to these responses has been poorly understood to date. While at Harvard, the Program on International Health and Human Rights collaborated with the UNAIDS Evaluation Department over a number of years on the monitoring and evaluation of human rights issues relevant to the global response to HIV, with the overall aims of improving national-level reporting in this area and increasing understanding of how human rights contribute to HIV efforts. Most recently, revisions were carried out to the National Composite Policy Index (NCPI), which guides national-level monitoring of the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. Current efforts at USC include the production of two academic articles analyzing the 2010 country reports on the NCPI and assessing, from a human rights perspective, the quality and implementation of national-level HIV policies and programs.
The Sexual Rights Project: Legal and jurisprudential research and analysisWorld Health Organization
— In order to foster the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights related to sexuality and sexual health, the World Health Organization, in collaboration with GHHR and other partners, is undertaking a mapping out and exploration of the health and rights outcomes related to the regulation of sexuality and sexual health around the world. The aim of the project is to develop a series of publications which will contribute to the recognition, understanding, and application of human rights standards related to sexuality and sexual health.
Current Debates on Realizing Health and Human RightsThe Merck Foundation
— Through this project, the GHHR is creating and supporting dialogue to establish the health related human rights responsibilities of the pharmaceutical industry and non-state actors more generally. In Phase I of the project, which occurred at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), program staff published a literature review and an article in PLoS
highlighting key issues and potential ways to move these debates forward. Phase II, starting at USC, will build on Phase I through: a) the creation and maintenance of a blog which will serve as an intellectual commons for stakeholders, including academics, the pharma industry and community activists; b) the hosting of a large-scale conference of experts intended to push critical thinking surrounding the topic, tentatively to be held in late Fall 2012; and c) publication of a conference report, policy briefs and a supplement in a leading journal.
Child Rights-Based Planning and Programming
World Health Organization, Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development
— The aim of Millennium Development Goal 4 is to reduce child mortality by two thirds by 2015; this will require improved efficiency and effective use of available resources. Working towards these aims, WHO’s Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (WHO/CAH) collaborated with the Program on a series of projects with the overall aim of establishing a systematic framework for undertaking child rights-based planning and programming within the department. The projects encompassed a wide range of activities that sought to demonstrate the role human rights can play in different elements of WHO/CAH’s work. This included promoting the systematic consideration of human rights into national-level situation analyses as well as into programming tools, guidelines and other documents produced by the department. Efforts included the production of documents, as well as field-testing of suggested tools to ensure their effectiveness for use by the department and others working in this area. Complementary to this, and as part of broader efforts by WHO/CAH and UNICEF to understand the role of law in efforts to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals, a paper was produced which addressed how legislation can be used to promote the child’s right to survival.
Addressing Orphanhood in São Paulo, Brazil
David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
— Mortality rates due to both AIDS and homicide in São Paulo, Brazil are alarmingly high. These rates have contributed to a large and growing orphan population. The Program collaborated with researchers at the Brazilian Nucleus for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of São Paulo in an effort to better understand how children’s health status is affected by orphanhood. The extent to which promotion, protection or violation of human rights mediate orphans’ experiences and the options that exist for addressing their health issues were also studied. The overall aim was to identify areas where further intervention/support to orphans is required. This project is part of a long-term collaboration between the Program and the research team in São Paulo.
Human Rights-Based Approaches to Programming: Practical Implementation Including a Training Manual, Training Materials and Training of TrainersUnited Nations Population Fund, Culture, Gender and Human Rights Branch of the Technical Support Division —
In support of the UN’s mandate of rights-based work, the Program collaborated with UNFPA to promote the systematic inclusion of human rights standards and principles in the organization’s country-level programs, policies and advocacy work. The project involved supporting UNFPA staff and their partners in the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of rights-based approaches. A manual and accompanying training materials were created and ‘training of trainers’ workshops were carried out in three regions in collaboration with local partners who have experience in rights-based training. The partners were: Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF)
; the Center for Arab Women Training and Research (CAWTAR)
; and International Women’s Rights Action Watch – Asia Pacific (IWRAW-AP)
Using Human Rights to Improve Maternal and Newborn Health: A Tool for Strengthening Laws, Policies and Standards of CareWorld Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research
One of the Millennium Development Goal targets is to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters by 2015. However, maternal and neonatal mortality rates remain unacceptably and unnecessarily high in many countries. To help address these issues, program staff collaborated with WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research
to develop an innovative instrument to help countries use a human rights framework to identify and address legal, policy and normative barriers to women’s access to and use of quality maternal and newborn health care services. Piloted in Mozambique, Brazil, and Indonesia, the tool is has been adapted for use in the areas of adolescent health and sexual and reproductive health.
Reproductive and Sexual Health of HIV Positive Men and WomenWorld Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research
— The Program collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) on the development of policy and programmatic guidance for health systems on ways to ensure that women and men living with HIV have access to sexual and reproductive health services. These sexual and reproductive health services are meant to help them realize their reproductive goals, while ensuring the respect, protection and fulfillment of their human rights. As part of this effort, Program staff and a close collaborator drafted a working paper for presentation at a meeting in Ethiopia co-hosted by WHO, UNFPA and Engender Health which brought together a range of partners working in this area. For more information click here
“HIV/AIDS and Gender-Based Violence (GBV): linking advocacy at the grass roots in China, India, Thailand and Vietnam”
— The Program implemented an HIV/AIDS and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) project to facilitate an informed exchange of information amongst those working on issues of HIV/AIDS and GBV at the global and local levels. Working with eight local NGO partners, this project aimed to: set a common human rights and sexuality framework for programs; document “best practices”; create tools and materials to help integrate HIV and GBV links; and strengthen the skills of practitioners and activists for continued joint efforts. Four poster presentations on the project were made at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Canada in August 2006. In conjunction with the International AIDS Conference and in collaboration with the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, the Program convened a forum for discussing the linkages between GBV and HIV with a view to understanding common challenges and informing research, advocacy, policy and practice. For more information, click here
UNAIDS Global Reference Group on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights
— PIHHR served as the secretariat for the UNAIDS Global Reference Group on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights from its inception in June 2002 through April 2006. The Reference Group is an independent, advisory body, established to advise UNAIDS on all matters relating to HIV and human rights. During this period, Sofia Gruskin also served as Chair of this 17-member group. As the secretariat, the Program was responsible for coordinating activities, conducting research and putting together policy briefs, recommendations and reports on current and emerging HIV and human rights issues. The Program produced numerous issue papers to facilitate the work of the Reference Group on topics such as the human rights implications of scaling up HIV testing and the value of rights-based approaches to HIV and AIDS. For more information click here
Health and Human Rights Syllabi Database
PIHHR, in collaboration with The University of New South Wales' Initiative for Health and Human Rights, is pleased to provide the Health and Human Rights Syllabi Database for use by teachers, practitioners and those interested in the teaching of health and human rights in academic settings. This database is based upon a compilation of syllabi submitted by participants to the Health and Human Rights Education in Academic Settings Meeting, held at the Harvard School of Public Health. The database is continuously updated to include revised and new syllabi. It is hoped that use of these syllabi will help facilitate ongoing discussion among health and human rights educators with the aims of improving the quality of teaching in this area, bringing it to a wider audience, and inspiring new initiatives.
Enhancing Care Initiative (ECI)
Harvard AIDS Institute
with funding from Merck Company Foundation
Professor Gruskin was the co-Principal Investigator of the Enhancing Care Initiative (ECI)
. ECI developed a multi-sectoral conceptual and practical framework on how to assess, plan for, and evaluate care for people living with HIV/AIDS, a framework fully based on human rights and gender-sensitive approaches.
Health and Human Rights Training
The Program developed this training module, which is relevant and applicable to all WHO departments. The training includes sessions on human rights from a personal perspective, human rights and WHO, an introduction and case studies on international human rights in relation to health policies and programs.
Intensive Course on Health and Human Rights
The Program is central to this annual four-day, collaborative effort involving the Department of Population and International Health and the Center for Continuing Professional Education at the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Department of Health Law, Bioethics, and Human Rights at the Boston University School of Public Health.