Health and Human Rights in a Time of Crisis Digital Series
HUMAN RIGHTS WEBINAR SERIES
Envisioning the Future: Advancing human rights in a time of crisis
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, how do we identify gaps in human rights protections nationally and internationally? How do we look beyond the immediate and necessary response to the crisis to identify the best strategies for advancing human rights long-term?
The University of Minnesota Human Rights Lab, in collaboration with the Center for Global Health & Social Responsibility, is providing a space for scholars, practitioners, researchers, and advocates to explore these and related questions through its virtual series, Envisioning the Future: Advancing human rights in a time of crisis.
Events in the series are free, open to the public, and accessible via Zoom.
The fifth webinar, Gender, Human Rights, and COVID-19, in the series was hosted on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 | 1:00-2:00 pm CT.
The coronavirus pandemic creates a perfect storm for exacerbating gender-based violence and discrimination. In every area—from employment to school closures to domestic violence to health outcomes—we see evidence of disproportionately negative impacts based on gender. These negative impacts are compounded by intersecting inequalities, including on the basis of race, socioeconomic status, disability, age, geographic location and sexual orientation, among others. Pandemic preparedness and response efforts must better understand these intersectional gender dimensions to avoid further widening inequalities.
Presenters included Christina Ewig, Professor and Faculty Director of the Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy, University of Minnesota, Ruby H.N. Nguyen, Associate Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota and Katie Spencer, Professor and Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at the Program in Human Sexuality, University of Minnesota. The session was moderated by Rosalyn Park, Director of the Women's Human Rights Program, The Advocates for Human Rights.
Refusing to ‘Go Back to Normal’: Addressing Structural Racism in Policing, Healthcare, and Other Institutions
The fourth webinar, Refusing to ‘Go Back to Normal’: Addressing Structural Racism in Policing, Healthcare, and Other Institutions, in the digital series was hosted on Wednesday, September 16, 2020.
This session builds upon our previous event, “Addressing Racial Inequities in Health Outcomes During COVID and Beyond,” by delving further into the impacts of systemic racism, and suggesting alternative social and policy paths for improving lives and health by respecting the rights of Black people in the United States.
Featuring the Following Experts:
Our distinguished presenters again include Prof. Tendayi Achiume, U.N. Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, Prof. Rachel Hardeman from the University of Minnesota, and Prof. Sirry Alang from Lehigh University. The panel will be moderated by Prof. Shailey Prasad, Executive Director of the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility.
The third webinar, Addressing Racial Inequities in Health Outcomes During COVID and Beyond, in the digital series was hosted on Wednesday, June 24, 2020.
Structural inequalities between Black and White Americans have always had devastating impacts, and these disparate health outcomes have become even more apparent in the COVID-19 era. Panelists discuss the impact of structural racism on overall health outcomes of Black Americans, the framing of police brutality against Black Americans as a public health crisis, how the record of systemic racial injustice in the United States relates to the country's human rights law obligations, racial and economic disparities that exist outside of the U.S., and strategies for addressing gaps on a national and international level to guarantee the right to health in a post-COVID world.
FEATURING THE FOLLOWING EXPERTS:
- Dr. E. Tendayi Achiume, UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance; Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles
- Dr. Rachel Hardeman, Professor of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
- Dr. Sirry Alang, Professor of Sociology and Health, Medicine, and Society, Lehigh University
- Dr. Shailey Prasad, Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health; Executive Director, Center for Global Health & Social Responsibility, University of Minnesota
Balancing Rights and Responsibilities During the Pandemic and Beyond
The second webinar, Balancing Rights and Responsibilities During the Pandemic and Beyond, in the digital series was hosted on Thursday, May 21, 2020.
Featuring Dr. Kathryn Sikkink (Regents Professor Emerita, University of Minnesota; Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School), Dr. Ranit Mishori (Senior Medical Advisor, Physicians for Human Rights; Professor of Family Medicine, Georgetown University), Dr. Joachim Savelsberg (Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Chair on Human Rights and Genocide, Sociology, University of Minnesota) and Dr. Shailey Prasad (Executive Director, University of Minnesota Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility)
In her latest book, The Hidden Face of Rights: Toward a Politics of Responsibility, Professor Kathryn Sikkink argues that we should reconsider the responsibility of all actors, and not just states, to take action together to guarantee human rights. This argument takes on urgent relevance in the era of the coronavirus pandemic, when we must rely on the preventive individual actions of all people to ensure the right to health is fulfilled.
PANELISTS ADDRESSed THE FOLLOWING:
- Why have human rights traditionally been framed as the responsibility of governments and not individuals?
- What responsibilities do individuals have to guarantee the right to health in this emergency? How can those responsibilities be enforced? In today’s nationalist/populist political landscape, is there a greater risk of governments imposing duties on their societies that result in harm to individuals and groups
- What are the political and societal conditions of public health crises, responses to them, and potential violations of HR in the course of such responses?
- What steps can we take, individually and collectively, to enforce human rights when governments are unwilling or unable to protect vulnerable groups, like migrants and refugees?
Revisiting the Right to Health: State Responsibility for the Highest Attainable Standard of Health in a Post-COVID World
The first webinar, Revisiting the Right to Health: State responsibility for the highest attainable standard of health in a post-COVID world, in the digital series was hosted on Thursday, April 30, 2020.
FEATURING THE FOLLOWING EXPERTS:
- Dr. R. Balasubramaniam (Founder and Chairman, GRAAM)
- Barbara Frey (University of Minnesota)
- Larry Gostin (Georgetown/Johns Hopkins)
- Fionnuala Ní Aoláin (University of Minnesota/UN Special Rapporteur on Counterterrorism)
PANELISTS ADDRESSED THE FOLLOWING:
- What are the human rights standards that guide state's responses to the pandemic?
- Is there a tension between the public health framework and the human rights framework in approaching the right to health?
- What are the political and societal conditions of public health crises, responses to them, and potential violations of human rights in the course of such responses?
- What rights may governments suspend in emergencies like this current health crisis?
- Based on this crisis, what are the best strategies for advancing human rights moving forward?
This inaugural event was also co-sponsored by the Institute for Global Studies.