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Global Health and Human Rights Lab

The Global Health and Human Rights Lab provides a platform for projects that connect Drexel Dornsife students and faculty with human rights organizations and activists.

Current projects of the Lab include:

Advocacy "boot camp"

In partnership with human rights activists, the advocacy boot camp provides an opportunity for Drexel students to learn advocacy strategies and design a rights-based health advocacy campaign.

Students, working in teams, develop their campaign around a key health and human rights issue, and key activities to: 1) raise awareness of the issue; 2) build and engage diverse community and other stakeholder coalitions; 3) frame debate around the issue as a rights concern; 4) seek commitment by policymakers or others for change; and 5) reforms to law, policy, and practice that can lead to sustained impact.

NGO start-up incubator

The Global Health and Human Rights Lab seeks to support NGO start-ups working on issues related to health and human rights by connecting them with the technical expertise of Drexel faculty and students interested in internship opportunities.

In 2019, the Lab supported the launch of the organization AIDEthics which promotes transparency and best practices in international development agency policies. Examples are related to sexual exploitation and trafficking in persons, forced and child labor, proper waste disposal, discrimination, and other issues.

Safeguarding Health in Conflict coalition

The Safeguarding Health in Conflict coalition is a group of international nongovernmental organizations working to protect health workers, services, and infrastructure. The coalition seeks to raise awareness of the problem of attacks on health workers, facilities, transport systems, and clients; to work with national and global organizations to strengthen the documentation of such attacks and increase accountability for violators; and to empower local groups to play a safe, active role in documenting attacks and demanding accountability at national and international levels.

Drexel University is a member of the Steering Committee of the coalition and the director of the Global Health and Human Rights Lab was one of the founding members. The Lab has supported Drexel Dornsife students to work with the coalition on data collection, analysis, and advocacy and communication strategies.

Evaluating human rights interventions targeting barriers to HIV and tuberculosis (TB) prevention and treatment

Human rights and gender-related barriers to health have long impeded effective national responses to HIV and TB epidemics. In 2017, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria began a program scaling up human rights interventions in twenty countries with support to: reduce stigma and discrimination; train health care providers on human rights and medical ethics; sensitize lawmakers and law enforcement agents; promote legal literacy and legal services; and monitor and reform relevant laws, regulations and policies.

At the mid-point of this five-year initiative, the Global Health and Human Rights Lab is conducting an assessment of progress and challenges in each of the 20 countries participating in the initiative.

Building research and advocacy partnerships

The Global Health and Human Rights Lab is partnering with Human Rights Watch to provide technical review of its research related to health and the environment.

The Lab also worked in collaboration between Human Rights Watch and the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (SciencesPo) on a research and advocacy project related to environmental health and human rights issues arising from coal-fired power plants operating in Eastern Europe.