Publications

Working Paper
Crowe A. All the regard due to their sex”: Women in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 Harvard Law School. [Internet]. Working Paper. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This working paper focuses on the gendered concepts of women that emerge from the texts of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, especially the concept of “honor and modesty.” Through analysis of historical materials, the paper describes the background to Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which refers to the protection of women from rape and enforced prostitution. In particular, the paper examines the question of why the Conventions’ drafters did not include rape in the list of acts that constitute grave breaches of the Conventions, worthy of special condemnation.

Neuman GL. Giving Meaning and Effect to Human Rights: The Contributions of Human Rights Committee Members. [Internet]. Working Paper. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This essay discusses the multiple roles played by the members of the Human Rights Committee in giving effect to the rights guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It argues that the most important contribution the members make to the human rights project consists in their credible, professional elaboration of those rights, particularly by means of the Committee’s Views and General Comments, as emphasized by the International Court of Justice in the Diallo case. While the Committee members should be open to learning from the insights of other treaty bodies, they should resist urgings toward a simplistic harmonization. The texts and interpretations of other ‘core’ human rights treaties must be used with care in the members’ independent exercise of their own interpretive function.

Accountability for Children’s Rights. With Special Attention to Social Accountability and Its Potential to Achieve Results and Equity for Children.
Gibbons L. Accountability for Children’s Rights. With Special Attention to Social Accountability and Its Potential to Achieve Results and Equity for Children. Working Paper.
Freedom from Violence and the Law: A Global Perspective
de de Alwis RS, Klugman J. Freedom from Violence and the Law: A Global Perspective. Working Paper.
The Power of Numbers: A Critical Review of MDG Targets and Indicators
Fukuda-Parr S, Yamin AE ed. The Power of Numbers: A Critical Review of MDG Targets and Indicators.; Working Paper. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The 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.

Building on 11 case studies and a conceptual framework, this book provides a goal-by-goal analysis by leading specialists in the relevant fields. These specialists analyse the choices made, as well as the empirical and normative effects of the MDGs to offer insights for a more rigorous use of indicators and cautions on their limitations and perverse consequences. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities.

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.

Forthcoming
Power, Suffering, and the Struggle for Dignity. Human Rights Frameworks for Health and Why They Matter
Yamin AE. Power, Suffering, and the Struggle for Dignity. Human Rights Frameworks for Health and Why They Matter. University of Pennsylvania Press; Forthcoming.Abstract

 

"This book deftly illustrates the core purpose of a human rights-based approach—eradicating the suffering arising from dramatic inequality within and between nations."—From the Foreword by Paul Farmer.

Directed at a diverse audience of students, legal and public health practitioners, and anyone interested in understanding what human rights-based approaches (HRBAs) to health and development mean and why they matter, Power, Suffering, and the Struggle for Dignity provides a solid foundation for comprehending what a human rights framework implies and the potential for social transformation it entails. Applying a human rights framework to health demands that we think about our own suffering and that of others, as well as the fundamental causes of that suffering. What is our agency as human subjects with rights and dignity, and what prevents us from acting in certain circumstances? What roles are played by others in decisions that affect our health? How do we determine whether what we may see as "natural" is actually the result of mutable, human policies and practices?

Alicia Ely Yamin couples theory with personal examples of HRBAs at work and shows the impact they have had on people's lives and health outcomes. Analyzing the successes of and challenges to using human rights frameworks for health, Yamin charts what can be learned from these experiences, from conceptualization to implementation, setting out explicit assumptions about how we can create social transformation. The ultimate concern of Power, Suffering, and the Struggle for Dignity is to promote movement from analysis to action, so that we can begin to use human rights frameworks to effect meaningful social change in global health, and beyond.

2017
The Weaponization of Healthcare: Health in Conflict. The Lancet [Internet]. 2017. Publisher's VersionAbstract

 

The Weaponization of Healthcare: Health in Conflict

The Lancet

This week the Lancet-American University of Beirut (AUB) Commission on Syria, which FXB director Dr. Jennifer Leaning co-chairs, published its first health policy paper, “Health workers and the weaponisation of health care in Syria: a preliminary inquiry.”

The conflict in Syria presents new and unprecedented challenges that undermine the principles and practice of medical neutrality in armed conflict. With direct and repeated targeting of health workers, health facilities, and ambulances, Syria has become the most dangerous place on earth for health-care providers. The weaponisation of health care—a strategy of using people’s need for health care as a weapon against them by violently depriving them of it—has translated into hundreds of health workers killed, hundreds more incarcerated or tortured, and hundreds of health facilities deliberately and systematically attacked.

 

2016
School IHRCHL. The Cost of Gold: Environmental, Health, and Human Rights Consequences of Gold Mining in South Africa’s West and Central Rand. 2016.Abstract

 

This report is based on a combination of fieldwork and desk research. The Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) conducted on-the-ground investigations in South Africa in 2014, 2012, and 2010, and updated its information through phone inter- views in 2016 and 2015. During that period, IHRC researchers interviewed about 200 people from a variety of spheres. They visited more than 20 communities in the West and Central Rand in order to speak to residents of informal and formal settlements. The researchers also interviewed government officials, especially from the national government, representatives of several mining companies, civil society advocates, scientists, and other experts. (Citations identify interviewees with the title they held at the time of the interview.) While in the West and Central Rand, IHRC investigators went on site visits to observe first hand the environmental effects of mining and the activities that have exposed local residents to its contamination.

IHRC supplemented the testimony it collected with a wide range of other sources. IHRC researchers drew on government and industry documents, scientific studies, news reports, and histories of the region. In addition, they identified and applied the most relevant pieces of South African, international, and regional human rights law, which provide an analytical framework for this report.

 

for RIghts TCCH. Conference Report: Technology & Human Rights in the 21st Century, in Technology & Human Rights in the 21st Century. Technology & Human Rights in the 21st Century ; 2016.Abstract

 

Abstract:

Full online version here.

On November 3 - 4, 2016, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School hosted a symposium that aimed to:

1. Strengthen collaboration among stakeholders working on issues at the intersection of human rights and technology and

2. Deepen our understanding of the nature of collaboration among different technical and scientific communities working in human rights.

The symposium brought together practitioners and academics from different industries, academic disciplines and professional practices. Discussion centered on three clusters of scientific and technical capacities and the communities of practice associated with each of them. These clusters are:

  • Geospatial Technology: The use of commercial remote sensing satellites, geographical information systems (GIS), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and geographical positioning satellites (GPS) and receivers to track events on earth.
     
  • Digital Networks: The use of digital platforms to link individuals in different locations working towards a common goal, such as monitoring digital evidence of human rights violations around the world. It often involves crowdsourcing the collection of data over digital networks or social computation – the analysis of data by volunteers using digital networks.
     
  • Forensic Science: The collection, preservation, examination and analysis of evidence of abuses and crimes for documentation, reconstruction, and understanding for public and court use. Among the more prominent evidential material in this area includes digital and multimedia evidence as well as corporal and other biologic evidence.  When considering the use of digital technologies, we might say that forensic science involves the recoding of material objects into binary code. This domain includes massively parallel DNA sequencing technologies as well as document scanning and data management technologies.

In their landmark 1998 book, Activists Beyond Borders, Kathryn Sikkink and Margaret Keck wrote that “by overcoming the deliberate suppression of information that sustains many abuses of power, human rights groups bring pressure to bear on those who perpetuate abuses” (Keck and Sikkink, 1998, Kindle Locations 77-78).  The Carr Center’s symposium on technology and human rights explored the ways modern human rights organization use science and technology to overcome the deliberate suppression of information.

Speakers discussed the latest advances in each of the key technologies represented at the symposium and used today by human rights organizations.

Steven Livingston and Sushma Raman co-organized the event. Livingston is Senior Fellow at the Carr Center and Professor of Media and Public Affairs and Professor of International Affairs at the George Washington University; Raman is the Executive Director of the Carr Center at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Full online version here.

 

2015
Power, Suffering, and the Struggle for Dignity
Yamin A. Power, Suffering, and the Struggle for Dignity. UPenn; 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Directed at a diverse audience of students, legal and public health practitioners, and anyone interested in understanding what human rights-based approaches (HRBAs) to health and development mean and why they matter, Power, Suffering, and the Struggle for Dignity provides a solid foundation for comprehending what a human rights framework implies and the potential for social transformation it entails. Applying a human rights framework to health demands that we think about our own suffering and that of others, as well as the fundamental causes of that suffering. What is our agency as human subjects with rights and dignity, and what prevents us from acting in certain circumstances? What roles are played by others in decisions that affect our health? How do we determine whether what we may see as "natural" is actually the result of mutable, human policies and practices?

Alicia Ely Yamin couples theory with personal examples of HRBAs at work and shows the impact they have had on people's lives and health outcomes. Analyzing the successes of and challenges to using human rights frameworks for health, Yamin charts what can be learned from these experiences, from conceptualization to implementation, setting out explicit assumptions about how we can create social transformation. The ultimate concern of Power, Suffering, and the Struggle for Dignity is to promote movement from analysis to action, so that we can begin to use human rights frameworks to effect meaningful social change in global health, and beyond.

Alicia Ely Yamin is lecturer on law and global health and policy director at the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, and director of the J.D. M.P.H. Program at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Indicators to measure child poverty in the SDGs
Morgan R. Indicators to measure child poverty in the SDGs.; 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Indicators to measure child poverty in the SDGs, March 2015. The Coalition of Partners Working to End Child Poverty – of which Harvard FXB is a founding member – has developed a policy brief that assesses how child poverty can be included as part of the new monitoring framework of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). The brief provides specific recommendations to support United Nations member states in framing their new poverty reduction indicators post 2015.
See the Policy Brief (PDF) and statement by Save the Children and UNICEF here:

Strategies to Combat Segregation of Roma Children in Schools
Matache M. Strategies to Combat Segregation of Roma Children in Schools.; 2015 pp. 126. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A report "Strategies to Combat Segregation of Roma Children in Schools," by Matache, M.
This report analyzes rsz_2p1070157the interventions employed by civil society organizations in six European Union countries to advocate for the development and implementation of measures to prevent the segregation of Roma children in schools. The report presents six case studies based on in-depth literature review and conversations with communities, experts, and stakeholders in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary and Romania.

Click here to read a brief version (digest) of the report.

The MDGs, Capabilities and Human Rights, The power of numbers to shape agendas
Fukuda-Parr S. The MDGs, Capabilities and Human Rights, The power of numbers to shape agendas. Routledge; 2015.Abstract

Heralded as opening a new chapter in international development, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have led to the use of global goals and quantitative targets as a central instrument for defining global priorities. This book explores the implications of this new approach. How does target setting influence policy priorities of national governments, bilateral donors, multilateral agencies, NGOs, and other stakeholders? What are the intended and unintended consequences? Why is the use of numeric indicators effective? How does quantification reshape meanings of challenges such as women’s empowerment?

Chan A. High Court of Kenya to Address Forced Sterilization of HIV-Positive Women and Collection of Names of People Living With HIV. Health and Human Rights Journal/Blog [Internet]. 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The High Court of Kenya has begun reviewing two important cases on the human rights of people living with HIV. The first concerns the forced or coerced sterilization of HIV-positive women; the second challenges a directive from Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to […]

2014
Matache M. Accelerating Patterns of Anti-Roma Violence in Hungary. Boston: FXB Center for Health And Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health; 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Accelerating Patterns of Anti-Roma Violence in Hungary Report by Margareta Matache, Arlan Fuller.
This analysis aims to alert the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and other intergovernmental bodies to the persistent patterns of violent attacks and actions against the Roma in Hungary. It argues that the resurgence of hate crimes and discrimination indicates a need for vigorous early assessment of the risk of violence and for measures to ensure the safety of Roma and other minority groups.
Read report here:

Bhabha J. Post-war Kosovo and Its Policies Towards the Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities. FXB Center for Health And Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health; 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Post-war Kosovo and Its Policies Towards the Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian report contributors: Jacqueline Bhabha, Margareta Matache, Carrie Bronsther and Bonnie Shnayerson.

FXB Harvard. Post-war Kosovo and Its Policies Towards the Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities, July 2014. In a climate of complex parallel structures, post-war tensions, and historical prejudice, a Harvard FXB research team examined the barriers to Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian access to education, employment and documentary proof of identity. The team also probed issues of national identity and values, in view of Kosovo’s struggles to integrate minority communities and become a multicultural society.
Read report here:

Running Out of Time: Survival of Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon
Bartells S. Running Out of Time: Survival of Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon. FXB Center for Health And Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health; 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Running Out of Time: Survival of Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon report was written by Susan Bartels, MD, MPH  and Kathleen Hamill, JD, MALD This report documents the findings of Capture-Lebanon policy brief 2014a rapid assessment of the needs of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon undertaken over 10 days in November 2013. A two-person team interviewed Syrian refugee families in Beirut, Tripoli, and the Bekaa, as well as a broad spectrum of informed staff at local and international NGOs and agencies. The report addresses stressful living conditions, deprivation of basic needs, social isolation, and child labor, among others. Also discussed is the response of the Lebanese government and international actors to the growing humanitarian crisis.
Read Policy brief here:

Syrian Refugees in Jordan: Urgent Issues and Recommendations
Abisaab J. Syrian Refugees in Jordan: Urgent Issues and Recommendations. FXB Center for Health And Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health; 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Policy Brief by Josyann Abisaab, Satchit Balsari, Zeina Ali Siam, Arlan Fuller, Kathleen Hamill, Jennifer Leaning
This policy brief, based on a Harvard FXB field investigation in Jordan in June 2014 and drawing on a prior FXB field investigation conducted in Lebanon in November 2013, presents an assessment of key problems and provides key recommendations to the policy community aimed at improving life conditions for the estimated 600,000 Syrian refugees now in Jordan.

Tainted Carpets: Slavery and Child Labor in India’s Hand-Made Carpet Sector
Kara S. Tainted Carpets: Slavery and Child Labor in India’s Hand-Made Carpet Sector. FXB Center for Health And Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health; 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This investigation sought to fill gaps in previous studies of India’s handmade carpet sector. Over 3,200 cases covering 9 states in northern India are investigated. The report covers “all modes of slave-like labor exploitation” in the carpet sector and documents the supply chain from production source to retail markets in the United States.
Read report here:

Child Migration and Human Rights in a Global Age
Bhabha J. Child Migration and Human Rights in a Global Age. Princeton University Press; 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Why, despite massive public concern, is child trafficking on the rise? Why are unaccompanied migrant children living on the streets and routinely threatened with deportation to their countries of origin? Why do so many young refugees of war-ravaged and failed states end up warehoused in camps, victimized by the sex trade, or enlisted as child soldiers? This book provides the first comprehensive account of the widespread but neglected global phenomenon of child migration, exploring the complex challenges facing children and adolescents who move to join their families, those who are moved to be exploited, and those who move simply to survive.

Spanning several continents and drawing on the actual stories of young migrants, the book shows how difficult it is for children to reunite with parents who left them behind to seek work abroad. It looks at the often-insurmountable obstacles we place in the paths of adolescents fleeing war, exploitation, or destitution; the contradictory elements in our approach to international adoption; and the limited support we give to young people brutalized as child soldiers. Part history, part in-depth legal and political analysis, this powerful book challenges the prevailing wisdom that widespread protection failures are caused by our lack of awareness of the problems these children face, arguing instead that our societies have a deep-seated ambivalence to migrant children—one we need to address head-on.Child Migration and Human Rights in a Global Age offers a road map for doing just that, and makes a compelling and courageous case for an international ethics of children’s human rights.

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