International Conference on Global Public Health and Human Rights

woensdag 4 dec 2019, 00:00 - woensdag 4 dec 2019, 23:45

Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

Ticket informatie

Participating the conference is free of charge. Prior registration is required. Please, contact André den Exter, Paula Lobato de Faria or Joaquin Cayon for further details and registration.

André den Exter, Erasmus School of Law
Paula Lobato de Faria, ENSP
Joaquin Cayon, IDIVAL

Voeg toe aan agenda

In a rapidly globalised word, health and human rights are closely related. Violating basic human rights can heavily impact in a negative way the health of individuals and communities. Violating further basic human rights might also lead to inequality and discrimination in access to health-care services.

The realisation of human rights in health care is, therefore, a key-obligation, both at a national and global level. But what is the relationship between human rights and global health? What are the key elements of that complex relationship, what are the key national and international institutions, and how do they respond to human rights challenges in health? These and other issues will be addressed during a one-day conference, organised by the Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública (ENSP, Portugal), the Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and IDIVAL, University of Cantabria (Spain), and hosted by the ENSP.

Seminar topics

Health as a human right
The right to health(care) is one of a set of internationally agreed human rights standards, and is inseparable or ‘indivisible’ from these other rights. This means achieving the right to health is both central to, and dependent upon, the realisation of other human rights, to food, housing, work, education, information, and participation.

The right to health protection as a competitive key element
There is no real economic growth when the population suffers from avoidable health problems, some of them avoidable if the governments invested more in prevention programmes and universal quality care. The right to health protection and health promotion are cornerstones of any country’s wealth.

Focus on disadvantaged populations
Disadvantage and marginalization serve to exclude certain populations in societies from enjoying good health. Communicable diseases disproportionately affect the world’s poorest populations, and in many cases are compounded and exacerbated by other inequalities and inequities including gender, age, sexual orientation or gender identity and migration status. Conversely the burden of non-communicable diseases – often perceived as affecting high-income countries – is increasing disproportionately among lower-income countries and populations, and is largely associated with lifestyle and behaviour factors as well as environmental determinants, such as safe housing, water and sanitation that are inextricably linked to human rights. This topic will also cover reproductive health, domestic violence, health sector accountability and access to healthcare services for vulnerable groups (women, children, prisoners, etc.).

Violations of human rights and health
Violations or lack of attention to human rights can have serious health consequences. Overt or implicit discrimination in the delivery of health services – both within the health workforce and between health workers and service users – acts as a powerful barrier to health services, and contributes to poor quality care.
Violations of human rights not only contribute to and exacerbate poor health, but for many, including people with disabilities, mentally ill, indigenous populations, women living with HIV, sex workers, people who use drugs, transgender and intersex people, the health care setting presents a risk of heightened exposure to human rights abuses – including coercive or forced treatment and procedures

Human rights and epidemics
Major public health events such as Ebola, Zika, HIV/AIDS, measles and the recent opioids overdose crisis require both national and international action to protect public health. At the same time, such measures may restrict or even violate basic human rights of individuals. What do we know about these crises, what can we do about it, and how can we protect human rights?


This conference provides the opportunity to participate in a state-of-the-art research fora tackling existing and emerging global health concerns by bringing together the many academic disciplines needed to address them. Participants will be exposed to the latest thinking in global public health and human rights and will be able to present and discuss their research outcomes related to one of the themes mentioned.

Key objectives of this one-day conference are to:

  • identify health programmes and policies on national, regional and global level
  • gain a better understanding of human rights issues in the health setting
  • get insight into the obstacles to the implementation of human rights in health care;
  • explore underlying determinants of health as part of a comprehensive approach to health and human rights
  • connect students, faculty and thought leaders across the university and beyond who are working in public health and human rights, and facilitate the exchange of ideas across disciplines, as well as new projects and collaborations that address global health and human rights issues

Call for Abstracts

The conference has a multidisciplinary approach inviting academics, professionals, (PhD and master) students and other interested persons to participate, and to submit an abstract for presentation, addressing one of the above mentioned issues (max. 300 words).

Abstracts can be sent to the Chair of the Scientific Committee (deadline: 1 November 2019). A short bibliography may be attached on additional pages (optional). The abstracts will be subjected to a peer review process by the Conference’s Scientific Committee. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis (each submission will be reviewed within a short period from its reception). Those who are selected are expected to present their paper at the Conference to take place on 4 December 2019. They will be given 15 minutes to present, plus 5 minutes for discussion.

Target groups

This conference is open to: i) PhD and master students involved in public health and human rights issues; ii) PhD supervisors involved in global health and human rights issues; iii) Health law and health-related professionals, and iv) other persons interested in global health and human rights issues.


Scientific committee: André den Exter, Paula Lobato de Faria, João Valente Cordeiro, and Joaquin Cayon


Participating the conference is free of charge. Prior registration is required. Please, contact André den Exter, Paula Lobato de Faria or Joaquin Cayon for further details and registration.

André den Exter, Erasmus School of Law
Paula Lobato de Faria, ENSP
Joaquin Cayon, IDIVAL

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