USC Law & Global Health Collaboration

Virtually all significant global health topics raise challenging legal issues which are better understood and addressed when considered from a multidisciplinary basis. The University of Southern California’s Law & Global Health Collaboration advances scholarship and provides monthly lectures and public discussions at the intersection of law and global health.

We invite interested students, faculty and staff to partake in a free exchange of ideas and collaboration on these important topics.

Since 2016, and with the continuous support of the USC Research Collaboration Fund, the USC Law & Global Health Collaboration has stimulated multidisciplinary research and elevated work being done locally and globally, and has become known for cutting-edge and creative exploration of issues at the intersection of law and global health.

Our Team

The Law & Global Health Collaboration benefits immensely from a multidisciplinary Steering Committee with members from across USC.

Professor Sofia Gruskin, Director of the USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health, leads this collaboration alongside USC Gould Professor of Law and Medicine Alexander Capron and USC Research Professor Emeritus and former Associate Dean of Research, Charles Kaplan, from the School of Social Work.

Secretariat & Steering Committee:

Take Part

Self-Care Health, Law and Rights

Worldwide, people have been increasingly able to utilize health technologies in their homes and on their own, instead of having to rely on health professionals. These self-care interventions (SCIs) include injectable hormones, abortion pills, traditional medicines as well as tools and apps for self-treating, self-testing, and self-monitoring. The rapid proliferation of SCIs across many different areas raises concerns about equitable access and safe use, and many policymakers enforce policies haphazardly, lacking adequate evidence to adopt appropriate rules. Our key areas of concern include the provision of evidence for informed decision-making around self-care, linkage to care, and the needs and concerns of vulnerable and marginalized populations.

COVID Health, Law and Rights

Over the past year, the working group has been dedicated to explore new legal issues for transgender populations that COVID-19 has brought to light, including arrests in some countries for allegedly violating COVID-19 curfew rules based on gender. Alongside this discrimination, new laws making it impossible for people to change legal recognition of their gender have been passed in the name of COVID prevention.

In the context of COVID, the range of legal issues has grown exponentially. As existing and newly developed, laws, policies and regulations are being used by countries to guide COVID responses, the Law & Global Health Collaboration will seek to understand the impact of the range of policy responses countries are taking, their immediate impacts on vulnerable and marginalized populations around the world, and their broader implications for food and housing security, sexual and reproductive health and rights, access to health and social services, and health outcomes more generally.

We have started efforts within USC and community-based organizations to build partnerships and identify COVID-related activities and research at the intersection of law and health. As part of these efforts, LGHC organized a webinar on the impacts of COVID-19 on key and marginalized populations. Speakers from Kenya, Los Angeles and the United Nations addressed grassroots, national and global level responses to the harms caused by governmental actions in the name of Covid. This event was organized in collaboration with the USC Community Health Equity Solutions (CHES) and USC IIGH.

Transgender Law & Global Health Working Group

In recent years the emergence of highly visible transgender communities in countries around the world has brought to public attention the myriad forms of discrimination experienced by transgender people, the implications for their health, and the significance of national and subnational legal and policy environments in shaping their health outcomes. Committed to working with the transgender community, the Law & Global Health Collaboration is an active player in this field and strategically positioned to guide research that uniquely contributes to advancing transgender health and rights. LGHC’s increasing global reputation as an emerging leader on transgender law and health has resulted from the active engagement and collaboration of all of the disciplines and schools involved.

The Transgender Law and Global Health Working Group was first convened in the spring semester of 2019 with the goal of designing a research program and fostering further multidisciplinary collaboration across the various schools of USC of individuals engaged in transgender research and advocacy. The working group brins together key faculty and graduate students from the LGHC Steering Committee and Keck, Gould, Dworak-Peck, Dornsife, Annenberg, and CHLA; each member is an expert in their respective field(s) or actively engaged with transgender issues. To date, working group members have published in peer-reviewed journals and other media, developed research proposals, and mounted a number of highly visible and well-attended USC events.

With continued assistance and guidance from the LGHC Steering Committee, the working group is advancing research and policy development in important ways in countries and globally.

The 2018 revision to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) removed “gender dysphoria” from the mental and behavioral disorders chapter and introduced “gender incongruence” to a new chapter on conditions related to sexual health. Officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) are beginning to work with the LGHC on mechanisms and guidelines to help countries implement the ICD-11 reclassification. In 2019, we were invited by the World Association for Sexual Health Conference to participate in a consultation meeting on a new initiative by WAS on trans health and rights. That meeting and the subsequent WAS congress were demonstrative of the timeliness of this research and gave the working group the opportunity to meet with other organizations to strategize about how to move from the strategic victory of the ICD-11 revisions vis-a-vis transgender health toward actual implementation.

Lecture Series

LGHC engages our academic community and other parties through our public events, which bring together senior and junior faculty, post-docs, students, and others to take on projects of mutual interest. These public lectures and panels help us refine our thinking, engage collaborators, and generate interest around selected issues, particularly amongst students.

2020-2021 Lecture Series

In 2020-2021, the USC Law & Global Health Collaboration focused on virtual convenings and meetings to advance our work around the legal, rights and regulatory issues around self-care interventions and technologies. In 2020, we determined a new thematic area to start exploring multidisciplinary work around COVID-19 and the legal and policy impact on vulnerable populations locally and around the globe.

2019-2020 Lecture Series

Consistent with the activities in previous years, two research working groups are in place. The first concerns the health and rights of transgender populations and builds on work in previous years.  The second is just launching this year and focuses on the legal and regulatory aspects of tech and self-care interventions.  Information about upcoming events, as well as discussion summaries and other relevant documents and links from previous events, are included in the posts below.

2018-2019 Lecture Series

In 2018-2019, the USC Law & Global Health Collaboration focused on the intersections of law and global health as it relates to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Following the Collaboration’s work of the last two years first on supporting the health and rights of transgender populations and then on the implications of the Trump administration’s policies, the series brought the two streams together to help us move towards research and action in the area of SRHR. Information about the 2018-2019 events, as well as discussion summaries and other relevant documents and links, are included in the posts below.

2017-2018 Lecture Series

In 2017-2018, the USC Law & Global Health Collaboration fostered evidence-based dialogue and research on the implications of the Trump administration’s policies on select law and health topics. From the local to the global, and from climate change to immigrant health, our speaker series helped to set a research agenda relevant to students and faculty from across USC. Information about the 2017-2018 events, as well as discussion summaries and other relevant documents and links, are included in the posts below.

2016-2017 Lecture Series

The 2016-2017 series introduced issues and challenges that arise at the intersection of transgender rights, law and global health. There were also several additional sessions explored a range of interests, including toxic stress. Information about the 2016-2017 events, as well as discussion summaries and other relevant documents and links, are included in the posts below.

News

Work Output

Background

Details:

For two years, beginning in 2014, an exploratory working group of faculty from across the University established the groundwork for the current collaboration. They began by approaching a single topic—the criminalization of HIV transmission—through a multidisciplinary lens.

The group discovered broad commonalities in terms of content and concerns no matter the topic—the importance of how laws are implemented; public health and societal effects; the use of the narrative in framing reference to law; and the relevance of cultural constructs both in how we conceive research questions and how we understand results.

Minutes

Below are minutes from the meetings that took place during the working group phase.

  1. November 25, 2014—Inaugural Meeting
  2. January 29, 2015—Conceptual and Interdisciplinary Linkages
  3. March 29, 2015—Focus on Criminalization of HIV I
  4. April 14, 2015—Focus on Criminalization of HIV II
  5. September 22, 2015—Orientation for 2015
  6. November 5, 2015—Focus on Aging, Global Health and Law
Working Group

Law & Global Health Working Group Participants:

Baezconde-Garbanati, LourdesBoyd-Judson, LynCapron, AlexanderCousineau, MichaelCruz, DavidFerguson, LauraFinch, CalebGarry, HannahGotsis, MarientinaGruskin, SofiaKaplan, CharlesKumar, ShubhaLakoff, AndrewLevine, PegLewis, LaVonnaMayer, DoePalinkas, LawrencePeet, JessicaRenteln, AlisonRodriguez, YanethRose, AdamSamet, JonathanSood, NeerajWipfli, HeatherWithers, Mellissa

2021-2022 Global(HEALTH+LAW) Series

Consistent with the activities in previous years, two research working groups are in place. The first concerns the health and rights of transgender populations and builds on work in previous years.  The second is just l... read more →

2020-2021 Global(HEALTH+LAW) Series

Consistent with the activities in previous years, two research working groups are in place. The first concerns the health and rights of transgender populations and builds on work in previous years.  The second is just l... read more →

2019-2020 Global(HEALTH+LAW) Series

Consistent with the activities in previous years, two research working groups are in place. The first concerns the health and rights of transgender populations and builds on work in previous years.  The second is just launch... read more →

2018-2019 Global(HEALTH+LAW) Series

Join us this year as the Law & Global Health Collaboration explores the intersections of law and global health as it relates to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). (more…)... read more →

2017-2018 Global(HEALTH+LAW) Series

The Law & Global Health Collaboration delved back into transgender rights, law and global health, and more, in the 2017-2018 year. (more…)... read more →
Law & Global Health Collaboration

2016-2017 Global(HEALTH+LAW) Series

In its inaugural series, the USC Law & Global Health Collaboration—Global(HEALTH+LAW)—delved into transgender rights, law and global health, and more, in the 2016-2017 year.  (more…)... read more →