Justice, Health and Human Rights

*"Formerly Health, Law and Human Rights"



*Javier Cepeda, jacepeda@ucsd.edu

Faculty Group Members (alphabetical order):

*Leo Beletsky (Division of Global Public Health, Dept of Medicine and Northeastern Law School)

Natasha Martin (Division of Global Public Health, Dept of Medicine)

Nancy Postero (Anthropology)

Gershon Shafir (Sociology)

*denotes group chair

Additional Faculty:

Dennis Childs (Literature) 

William Aceves (California Western School of Law).


There is growing interest in how laws, human rights frameworks, and practices of criminal justice systems shape health outcomes.  This is a fundamental issue in international human rights studies as more and more scholars are recognizing that human rights violations not only have political repercussions, but also affect people’s health and wellbeing. The global response to HIV/AIDS epidemic drew scholars’ attention to this articulation, as did the cholera epidemic in Haiti, which was introduced by UN humanitarian workers. Today health and human rights scholars are asking critical questions about the health outcomes of a wide range of international policies and conflicts. How do humanitarian crises like droughts, wars, and refugee flows affect health?  What are the links between immigration policies and health? Torture leaves traces on the body and the mind; how de we characterize such human rights violations? How do policies and laws about public health issues like substance abuse result in human rights violations like unjust imprisonment?  Looking at it from another angle, how do the resulting mass incarceration and solitary confinement affect the health of the imprisoned and their families? Does unequal access to reproductive health care amount to a human rights violation?

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Dr. Beyrer delivering his presentation on health, law, and human rights. (Left image)
Audience members during Dr. Beyrer's presentation. (Right image)



Dr. Beyrer: It is a challenging time for Human Rights framework to advance public health around the world, making it more important than ever.

Faculty Groups