The Inaugural Conference on Global Health, Gender and Human Rights seeks to foster collaboration across disciplines, organizations and countries to improve health equity and to strengthen human rights and global health by promoting the use of international human rights instruments and standards as tools to improve health policies in the Americas and around the world.
The Conference is presented by the Program on Law and Government, American University Washington College of Law; Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO); and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Guatemala in cooperation with AU Center on Health, Risk and Society; WCL Health Law and Policy Brief; WCL Health Law and Justice Initiative; WCL Women and the Law Program; WCL Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law; WCL Health Law and Justice Program; and AU Center for Latin American and Latino Studies.
Why is this Conference different?
The Conference on Global Health, Gender and Human Rights has a unique methodology, which emphasizes the common work of WCL students, alumni, faculty and PAHO experts to bring to the attention of the general audience the importance of using international human rights instruments and standards to promote public health actions.
Students and PAHO experts have collaborated to draft background papers in six topic areas that will serve as the basis for both presentations by plenary speakers, and the discussions of working groups. Each conference participant will attend the plenary sessions on the first day and the first half of the second day, which will underscore the need for cross-cutting dialog among advocacy communities concerned with the various aspects of the right to health. In the second half of day two, conference participants will attend a working group session in their particular area of interest. Using the background papers as a basis, each working group will discuss emerging trends, challenges and strategies in the use of human rights law to protect and promote the right to health in both international and domestic contexts. At the end of the conference, working groups will collaborate to memorialize their discussions, which will be summarized in a dedicated volume of the American University Health Law & Policy Brief.
Summary of Agenda (Click here for the full agenda.)
- Disabilities and mental health;
- Women/adolescent girls’ health with emphasis on maternal mortality and morbidity;
- Gender identities;
- Older persons;
- Access to medicines; and
- Tobacco control and smoke free environments.
This session will focus on the recently approved PAHO’s Resolution on Health and Human Rights (CD 50 R.8) as a step toward promoting and protecting the rights of individuals.
The second day of the conference will be divided in two sessions: Plenary Session from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm and Working Groups from 1:30 pm to 5:15pm. The entire group will reconvene at 5:15pm to share results of the Working Group discussions and discuss next steps. Six background papers will be used as the point of departure for both sessions.
The Background Papers:
WCL Student Fellows and Alumni have prepared six background papers for this conference one in each of the subject areas for the conference. These individuals were assisted in the preparation of the background papers by Professors Sean Flynn, Daniela Kraiem and Cristina Leria as well as the Associate Director of the Health Law & Justice Program, Matthew Pierce.
The papers will serve as a basis for discussion in the Working Groups. Each paper includes a global and regional overview of the issue, including current trends associated with the problem in the regions, identification of the human rights instruments that could be and/or have been used to address the problem, areas of agreement and disagreement on how to move forward and the need for public health actions consistent with international human rights treaties and standards.
A seventh paper on “The Right to Receive and Impart Information on Health” prepared by by Carlos Y. Cueto (JD, student at Tulane University) in collaboration with Javier Vasquez, PAHO Human Rights Law Advisor and Sandra del Pino, PAHO Human Rights Specialist. The paper will serve as a cross-cutting paper that discusses how the right to receive and impart information relates to the global health challenges addressed by the other six background papers.