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UNC Health & Human Rights Lecture Series

The UNC Health & Human Rights Lecture Series seeks to elaborate the human rights principles that frame health policy. In considering human rights under international law as a basis for public health, this annual lecture has shifted the analysis of global health debates from social justice to legal accountability, elevating human rights from principle to practice. Established in 2011, this lecture series has brought to campus global leaders in the application of human rights to public health, including:



hhrl_2012_newIn collaboration with the UNC In collaboration with the UNC Center for Bioethics and UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Disease, the Department of Public Policy launched the Lecture Series to great publicity and acclaim in Spring 2012, bringing Professor Sofia Gruskin to UNC for two days of faculty meetings, student events, and a university-wide lecture.



hhrl_2013Participating in the University’s the Pan-Campus Water Theme, the Department invited Catarina de Albuquerque, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, to give the 2013 Lecture, with additional partner funds to speak to three classes, produce two online videos for the University, and publicize her Health & Human Rights Lecture to a filled Nelson Mandela Auditorium.



Professor Lawrence Gostin, one of the preeminent leaders at the intersection of global health and human rights, provided the 2014 Health & Human Rights Lecture, participating in interviews with faculty and students, providing a keynote to UNC’s Mock World Health Organization competition, and speaking about his groundbreaking new book, Global Health Law.



hhr lecture vmIn recognizing the role of human rights in framing global health governance, the 2015 Health & Human Rights Lecture was given by Veronica Magar, the Team Leader on Gender, Equity, and Human Rights at the World Health Organization. A graduate of UNC, Dr. Magar spoke about her Team’s efforts to “mainstream” human rights across the World Health Organization and the ways in which human rights will be central to health efforts under the Sustainable Development Goals.



Dr. Gopal Sreenivasan, the Crown University Professor in Ethics at Duke University, gave the 2016 Health & Human Rights Lecture. The first philosopher to give the lecture, Dr. Sreenivasan investigated the significance of health care and public health to the conceptualization and realization of the human right to health.



Highlighting the application of human rights law to global health advancement, this Lecture Series has proven effective in elevating human rights from principle to practice and transforming international law into national policy. The growth and influence of this Lecture Series is a testament to the Department’s efforts to cultivate interdisciplinary health and human rights discourses at the UNC.