The Program on Global Health & Human Rights (GHHR), an integral component of the Institute for Global Health, is at the forefront of expanding research in the field of health and human rights, and is a leader in developing tools for analysis, programmatic intervention, monitoring and evaluation. At this juncture in the history of the health and human rights field, there is an urgent need to strengthen health systems and demonstrate the effectiveness of using human rights to address public health challenges. The work of GHHR is to document examples of how human rights-based approaches to health make a greater positive difference to the lives of individuals and populations in a variety of areas, including HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, child and adolescent health and health systems strengthening. GHHR emphasizes the conceptual, methodological, policy and practice implications of linking health to human rights, with particular attention to women, children, gender issues, and vulnerable populations.
Global health professional and lawyer for 25 years, Program Director and Professor Sofia Gruskin has long been at the forefront of expanding research in the field of global health. In 1997 she developed the core Program on International Health and Human Rights (PIHHR) at the Harvard School of Public Health. The Program is widely recognized as a leader in developing and testing practical approaches – products such as training modules, assessment and evaluation instruments, and analytical guides – that fully integrate human rights into the work of public health, including program design, implementation, and evaluation. Development of such tools is critical to validating the essential links between health and human rights and to improving the delivery of services and health outcomes.
Since its inception, PIHHR has grown in dynamic ways to further understanding of the interactions between health and human rights and has applied this newly acquired knowledge to the development of public health policy and practice. The work of Professor Gruskin and PIHHR is expanding today at USC with the creation of GHHR. GHHR continues to strengthen the practical application of human rights to public health programming in a variety of ways—from the design and implementation of specific analytic and programmatic tools to conducting trainings in various areas of health and human rights.