Harvard Program on International Health and Human Rights

General Information
The Program on International Health and Human Rights promotes practical and effective responses to global public health challenges through the innovative application of human rights. In particular, the Program is at the forefront of expanding research in the field of health and human rights, and is a leader in developing health and human rights tools for analysis, programmatic intervention, monitoring and evaluation.
The work of the Program on International Health and Human Rights emphasizes the conceptual, methodological, policy and practice implications of linking health to human rights, with particular attention to women, children, gender issues, and vulnerable populations. The main areas of focus for the Program include, but are not limited to: HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, child and adolescent health and health system strengthening.

Main Activities
The Program on International Health and Human Rights (PIHHR) conducts its mission through a combination of the following activities:

  • Research: Given the uniqueness of the health and human rights field, the Program aims to expand and strengthen the field of health and human rights by clarifying the value of application of human rights norms and standards for addressing the underlying determinants of health, improving the delivery of health services, and ultimately impacting health outcomes. Towards this end, the PIHHR conducts research-focused activities within the field of health and human rights and disseminates lessons learned from these efforts through activities such as conferences and consultations, and producing a wide range of publications.
  • Education: The PIHHR is closely linked to health and human rights teaching and professional activities both nationally and internationally. In addition to academic courses at the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health, the Program staff engages in educational activities with partners in universities and nongovernmental organizations around the world that contribute to the development of health and human rights education. Recent international collaborations have taken place in Australia, Kenya, and Vietnam. The Program also hosts self-funded fellows and interns throughout the year. Prof. Sofia Gruskin, who spearheads the educational and training aspects of the Program also serves as co-director of the interdisciplinary concentration on Women, Gender and Health at the Harvard School of Public Health.
  • Capacity-building and training: Program staff work closely with international agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities and others to conduct trainings that teach participants to fully integrate health and human rights concepts into programming and policy efforts in a variety of public health areas.
  • Policy development: The Program collaborates with governments, international agencies and non-governmental organizations to assist in policy development and programming initiatives with the aim of integrating human rights and health issues and concerns into relevant health processes and systems.

Contact Information
Address: Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Ave, 1-1202, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Telephone: + 1 (617) 432 4314
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Latest News

  • Human rights law and access to abortion

    legalThe recently published Human Rights Watch Q&A on Human Rights Law and Access to Abortion discusses abortion as a human rights issue and the health consequences of unsafe abortions. It also shows that restrictive abortion policies do not reduce the rate of unsafe abortions, and highlights the positions of UN experts and agencies on the criminalization of abortion.

  • Intellectual property rights and access to medicines

    arrestLast week, on 17 July, the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines took place at the UN headquarters in New York. Sub-titled "Advancing Health-Related SDGs through Policy Coherence", the panel came together during the UN High Political Forum on Sustainable Development. William New of the news service Intellectual Property Watch wrote a short report of this event.