Part II: Gender and Health in the Context of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change

By Marlies Hesselman, University of Groningen Faculty of Law, PhD Candidate, m.m.e.hesselman@rug.nl

On  16 October 2017, GHLG member Marlies Hesselman participated in an event on new CEDAW General Recommendation 36 on Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction in a Changing Climate. This two-part post is based on Hesselman’s commentary in response to the presentation of the Draft General Recommendation by CEDAW Committee member Hilary Gbedemah. Part I of this entry discussed the intimate links between gender, health, climate and disaster risk reduction and included examples of practical challenges for women.

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The Underappreciated Banjul Jurisprudence on the Right to Health

By Yohannes Eneyew Ayalew, LLM candidate International Human Rights Law, University of Groningen, eneyewyohannes@gmail.com

By and large, international health law is taken as a nascent branch of  public international law and is still in the making.[1] These days, the issue of public health draws global spotlight and the response of the international community seemed promising though it requires concerted and cooperative solutions. As part of this process, regional organisations have played a pivotal role in the making or unmaking of norms. For instance, courts or commissions established internationally or regionally—have developed some concepts and made interesting pronouncements about the right to health.

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Part I: Gender and Health in the Context of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change

By Marlies Hesselman, University of Groningen Faculty of Law, PhD Candidate, m.m.e.hesselman@rug.nl

On  16 October 2017, GHLG member Marlies Hesselman participated in an event on the new CEDAW General Recommendation on Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction in a Changing Climate. This two-part post is based on her commentary in response to the presentation of the Draft General Recommendation by CEDAW Committee member Hilary Gbedemah, and is published on the occasion of COP23 in Bonn.

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Breastfeeding and infant and maternal health: a human rights analysis

By Benedetta Inguscio, University of Groningen, LLM Public International Law, benedettainguscio@gmail.com

With millions of children dying each year of malnutrition, breastfeeding holds the potential to save more lives than any public health intervention on infant mortality. This unique practice, achievable at an incomparably minimal cost, has also proven to have positive health effects on lactating mothers, protecting them from, inter alia, osteoporosis and breast and ovarian cancer.

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Contributions to the EAHL conference

By Yi Zhang (Eva), University of Groningen Faculty of Law, PhD Candidate, yi.zhang@rug.nl

On the 28 – 29 of September 2017, Prof. Brigit Toebes, Dr.  Marie Elske Gispen and Yi Zhang participated in the 6th annual conference of the European Association of Health Law (‘EAHL’). The conference was organized by the Faculty of Law, University of Bergen, Norway in cooperation with the EAHL. The theme of the conference was health rights regulations and the distribution of healthcare in Europe. 

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Voices in the Field: Professors Asbjorn Eide and Wenche Barth Eide

By Professor Brigit Toebes

This interview is the first publication from the series ‘Voices in the field,’ a joint endeavour by GHLG and IFHHRO.*

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Professor Asbjorn Eide (Oslo) is co-founder and former director of the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights at the University of Oslo and a renowned human rights scholar who stood at the cradle of the tripartite typology of state obligations (respect, protect, fulfil). In 1981 Eide was elected member of the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, 1981—2003), where he has been re-elected several times as the only Nordic member, and has been responsible for developing a number of studies of this sub-committee.

Eide 1Wenche Barth Eide is Professor of Nutrition at the Medical Faculty of the University of Oslo. She was a pioneer with Asbjørn and other Norwegian colleagues in the early work on interlinkages between food and human rights and continued for many years to give content to the human right to adequate food; specifically the group developed a right to adequate food matrix which combines the tripartite typology of state obligations with elements of food and nutrition security (later used and adapted by Brigit Toebes for the right to health). More recently they have in their emeriti positions been working on the human rights consequences of unhealthy diets and have in this context helped create the interdisciplinary research and action network FoHRC (Food, Human Rights and Corporations which Wenche currently coordinates.

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Ebola, Burial Practices and the Right to Health in West Africa: Integrating International Human Rights with Local Norms

Julie Fraser, PhD Candidate SIM, Utrecht University, J.A.Fraser@uu.nl, and Henrike Prudon, MSC, Cultural Anthropology, Utrecht University, H.H.M.Prudon@uu.nl  

Culture and health are to some degree mutually constitutive. The cultural frameworks into which we are socialised often shape our views on sickness, wellbeing, the causes of illnesses, and their remedies. The UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights acknowledges this and, therefore, requires all health goods, facilities, and services to be “culturally appropriate”. This is an obligation on all States parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights to progressively realise. Culturally sensitive approaches to healthcare are important at all times, but can be especially vital during an epidemic. Our study of the recent Ebola crisis that reached a peak in West Africa in 2015 exemplified how indispensable culturally sensitive approaches to the right to health can be.

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