Blog: Sexual and Reproductive Rights
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February 28, 2017
“Shifting Grounds in International Human Rights”
12:00- 1:00 p.m.
Please join the Human Rights Program for a panel discussion on how the international human rights landscape has changed since President Trump took office. HRP’s resident scholars and advocates will examine the question: what impact is the change of administration having on the work of international human rights scholars, lawyers, and activists working internationally? Panelists will address a range of topics, including women’s rights, LGBTQI rights, and the rights of religious minorities, and examine these issues in contexts where human rights are already under threat, such as Myanmar and the Middle East.
January 26, 2016
Posted by Mindy Roseman
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
After ten years as Academic Director at the Human Rights Program, and many years before that as a collaborator at the Harvard School of Public Health, I write to let you know that I am leaving HRP, effective February 5, 2016. I will be joining Yale Law School as Director of both its International Programs and its Gruber Program on Global Justice and Women’s Rights. This was not an easy decision, especially since it means I will be warming the bench from the other side of the basketball court.
There are many communities at Harvard Law School that are dear to me, but I cherish HRP – its work, staff, faculty, students, alumni – perhaps above all. I’ll still be on campus this semester (teaching a seminar), and my email will be active through June.
I hope to stay in touch and wish you all the best of luck.
November 9, 2015
“After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate”
Please join us for a book talk with Prof. Mary Ziegler, Stearns Weaver Miller Professor of Law at Florida State University College, for a discussion of After Roe: The Lost History of The Abortion Debate (Harvard University Press, 2015). After Roe uses more than 100 oral history interviews and extensive archival research to challenge the conventional legal and historical account of social-movement reactions to Roe v. Wade. In studying the decade after Roe, the project explores reasons for the contemporary polarization of the abortion wars. Prof. Ziegler is a 2007 graduate of Harvard Law School.
Co-sponsored by HLS Law Students for Reproductive Justice. Books will be available for purchase.
April 10, 2015
Posted by Cara Solomon
Earlier this week, Australian radio interviewed Tyler Giannini about a significant development in the world of business and human rights: one of the world’s largest mining companies, Barrick Gold, recently settled claims with a group of women in Papua New Guinea who were raped by the company’s security guards. The settlement, negotiated by EarthRights International, came as the women were preparing to file suit.
The International Human Rights Clinic has been investigating abuses around the Porgera mine for several years, along with NYU’s Global Justice Clinic and Columbia’s Human Rights Clinic. Reports of rape around the mine in the highlands of Papua New Guinea date back to at least 2006, but the company did not acknowledge them for years.
In 2012, the company set up a complaint mechanism, which Tyler describes in the interview as inadequate. Initially, the company was preparing to offer the women who stepped forward a compensation package of used clothing and chickens. At the urging of advocates, including the Clinic, the company later revised its offer, and more than 100 women accepted the settlement.
EarthRights represented a group that did not agree to settle through the company’s complaint mechanism. At least one woman described the original settlement offers as “offensive.”
“If you have settlements that aren’t really getting to justice, the discourse with the community is not really healed, and you don’t get real reconciliation,” Tyler said in the interview. “That’s not good for the company, that’s not good for the survivors, and I think that’s one of the lessons that needs to be taken away.”
March 6, 2015
“The Role of African Women in the Post 2015 Development Agenda & +20 Beijing”
9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
Austin Hall (on March 9)
Wasserstein Milstein AB (on March 10)
Please join the Human Rights Program, Urgent Action Fund–Africa, and the Ford Foundation-East Africa Office for a two-day round table discussion on the role of African Women in the Post 2015 Development Agenda and the Beijing +20. Review the program here.The meeting brings together approximately 50 African women leaders from across socio-economic and political arenas. They, and their US-based counterparts, include women’s rights advocates, femocrats, academics, United Nations representatives, corporate and media professionals. Together they will share success stories, challenges, innovations, knowledge, and history to advance and cement women’s leadership as part of the 2015 global agenda for integration, development and social change.
ALSO on March 9, a rescheduled event:
Pound Hall 102
Lunch will be served
Trans and intersex individuals face a series of legal, medical, and social challenges. This panel explores these overlapping issues, including: healthcare coverage of treatments such as gender reassignment therapy, the legal recognition of trans identities, intersexuality, and asexuality. Join us for a wide-ranging panel discussion with panelists Noa Ben-Asher, Visiting Associate Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Elizabeth F. Emens, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia Law School; Gerald L. Neuman, J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law, Harvard Law School; Matthew J.B. Lawrence, Academic Fellow, Petrie-Flom Center; with moderator I. Glenn Cohen, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, and Faculty Director, Petrie-Flom Center.
November 3, 2014
Posted by Mindy Roseman
In a long-awaited decision today, Namibia’s Supreme Court found that the government forcibly sterilized women living with HIV/AIDS. The ruling upholds the 2012 High Court’s decision in Government of the Republic of Namibia v LM and Others.
Below, we’ve re-posted a press release from the Namibian Women’s Health Network (one of the International Human Rights Clinic’s partners) and the South Africa Litigation Centre, one of the legal partners on the case. While there may be much to cheer about in the decision, the Supreme Court’s affirmation that no evidence of discriminatory animus on the basis of HIV status still disappoints.
In 2010, the Clinic teamed up with the Namibian Women’s Health Network and Northeastern University School of Law to document the full range of discriminatory treatment that women living with HIV/AIDS face in seeking and receiving health care. Forcible sterilization was one of the many human rights violations HIV positive women suffered. Our report, “At the Hospital There Are No Human Rights,” was issued in July 2012.
Namibia’s Highest Court Finds Government Forcibly Sterilised HIV-Positive Women
(Windhoek, Namibia, Nov. 3, 2014) – Today the Namibian Supreme Court affirmed that HIV-positive women have been forcibly sterilised in public hospitals in Namibia.
“This decision by the country’s highest court is a victory for all HIV-positive women as it makes clear that public hospitals in Namibia have been coercively sterilising HIV-positive women without their consent,” stated Jennifer Gatsi Mallet, Director of Namibian Women’s Health Network (NWHN). “However, these three women are only the tip of the iceberg. We have documented dozens of cases of other HIV-positive women who have been forcibly sterilised. The government needs to take active steps to ensure all women subjected to this unlawful practice get redress,” added Gatsi Mallet.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Government of the Republic of Namibia v LM and Others affirmed the High Court’s July 2012 order finding that the government had subjected women to coercive sterilisation. The case was brought by three HIV-positive women who were subjected to sterilisation without their informed consent in public hospitals. The High Court found in favour of the women and held that the practice of coerced sterilisation violated the women’s legal rights.
“This decision has far-reaching consequences not only for HIV-positive women in Namibia but for the dozens of HIV-positive women throughout Africa who have been forcibly sterilised,” said Priti Patel, Deputy Director of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre. “This decision sends a clear message that governments throughout Africa must take concrete actions to end this practice,” said Patel.
NWHN first began documenting cases of forced sterilisation in 2007. Since then, dozens of HIV-positive women in Namibia and in other countries in Africa have come forward describing similar experiences at public hospitals. Despite numerous requests to the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services in Namibia, very little action has been taken to address this practice.
The three women at the centre of the case were represented by lawyers from the Legal Assistance Centre and supported by the Namibian Women’s Health Network and the Southern Africa Litigation Centre.
For more information:
Jennifer Gatsi-Mallet, Director, NWHN: +264 (81) 129 6940 (m); firstname.lastname@example.org
Veronica Kalambi, NWHN: +264 (81) 787 8326 (m); email@example.com
Priti Patel, Deputy Director, SALC: +27 (0) 76 808 0505 (m); firstname.lastname@example.org
Nyasha Chingore-Munazvo, Project Lawyer, SALC: +27 10 596 8538 (o); +27 72 563 5855 (m); email@example.com
September 24, 2014
September 25, 2014
A Film Screening and Panel Discussion
5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Kresge G1 Auditorium
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA
Please join the Harvard School of Public Health’s Women, Gender, and Health Interdisciplinary Concentration for an evening screening of the award-winning documentary “After Tiller,” which explores the topic of third-trimester abortions in the wake of the 2009 assassination of practitioner Dr. George Tiller that left behind only four doctors in the United States who perform this procedure. After the screening, HSPH will host a panel discussion.
The Human Rights Program is co-sponsoring this event, along with Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Reproductive Rights; Group on Reproductive Health and Rights; Harvard FAS Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality; IBIS Reproductive Health; Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology; and MIT Graduate Consortium of Women’s Studies.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 4, 2014
“The Right to Life and the Inter American Court of Human Rights”
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Please join us for a brown bag talk with Professor Paola Bergallo, Faculty of Law, Universidad de San Andrés, Buenos Aires, and HRP Visiting Fellow. Bergallo served as an expert witness in the landmark case Artavia Murillo et al. (“In Vitro Fertilization”) v. Costa Rica, which discusses human rights definitions regarding the right to life, among other health and human rights matters. Professor Gerald Neuman, co-director of the Human Rights Program will moderate.
This event is being co-sponsored by Harvard Law Students for Reproductive Justice and HLS Advocates for Human Rights
February 27, 2014
“Trangender Identity, Mental Health, and Human Rights: The DSM V and Beyond”
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Light lunch will be served
Please join us for a discussion with panelists: Sara Kimmel, staff psychologist at Harvard University Student Mental Health Services; Eszter Kismödi, international human rights lawyer on sexual and reproductive health law, policy, and research; Zack Paakkonen, staff attorney with GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project; and moderator Mindy Roseman, Academic Director of the Human Rights Program and Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School.
This event is being co-sponsored by the Radcliffe Institute, HLS Lambda, and the Petrie-Flom Center
January 28, 2014
“Legal Challenges and Strategies for Combatting Sexual Violence Against Children”
12:00- 1: 00 p.m.
Please join us for a talk by Corinne Dettmeijer, the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children. A former public prosecutor, and a current judge at the district court of The Hague, Dettmeijer will discuss the evolution of the perspective on child pornography as a crime, and the legal framework that has been developed in response. She will analyze the current situation by discussing two major child pornography cases: Paroline v. United States, now before the U.S. Supreme Court, and Robert M., a case that shocked the Netherlands at the end of 2010.
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