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Health and Human Rights Journal Announces Amon as Editor-in-Chief

headshot of Dr. Amon

November 9, 2023

Joseph Amon, PhD, MSPH, clinical professor and director of the Office of Global Health at the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health (DSPH), has been appointed the Editor-in-Chief of the Health and Human Rights Journal. Harvard University’s François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights and DSPH, have co-published the journal since 2019.

The Health and Human Rights Journal began publication at Harvard in 1994 under the editorship of Jonathan Mann, who subsequently became Dean of what would become DSPH. Mann was followed by Sofia Gruskin, who was editor from 1997 until 2007, and then by Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners In Health, who was Editor-in-Chief until his untimely death in 2022.

Prior to coming to Drexel in 2018, Amon was the Vice President for Neglected Tropical Diseases at Helen Keller and, from 2005-2016, Director of the Health Division at Human Rights Watch, where he also founded programs on disability rights and the environment and human rights. Trained in molecular parasitology, he has worked for a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organizations and has held visiting or adjunct academic appointments with Paris School of International Affairs (SciencesPo), Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Princeton, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins Universities as well as the Institute for Advanced Studies (Princeton).

“We are delighted to have Joe Amon as Editor-in-Chief,” said Mary T. Bassett, MD, MPH, director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights and FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights. “Replacing Paul Farmer is no small feat, but Joe is both a scholar and an activist and he brings to the Journal his wide range of expertise in human rights and social justice and his understanding of how to document human rights abuses, build coalitions, and advocate for positive change.”

Amon has served on advisory boards for UNAIDS, The Global Fund, and the World Health Organization, and since 2019 has been the Journal’s Senior Editor. He also serves on the editorial board and ethics committee of the Journal of the International AIDS Society. Alongside Bassett, he is a member of the International AIDS Society – Lancet Commission on Health and Human Rights.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic, public health has been in crisis,” said Gina Lovasi, PhD, MPH, DSPH’s Interim Dean and Dornsife Associate Professor of Urban Health. “Critical to recovering the public’s trust and realizing the power of public health is grounding our practice in recognition of health as a human right. Joe has that vision and as Editor-in-Chief of the Health and Human Rights Journal will engage the kinds of critical discussion and debate we need to advance public health and human rights more broadly.”

The Health and Human Rights Journal provides an inclusive forum for action-oriented dialogue among human rights practitioners and legal and health scholars. The open access journal endeavors to increase access to human rights knowledge in the health field by linking an expanded community of readers and contributors and empowering new voices from the field—highlighting the innovative work of groups and individuals in direct engagement with human rights struggles, and rights-based approaches, as they relate to health.

The latest issue of the Health and Human Rights Journal includes a special section on economic inequality and the right to health and an editorial by Amon on the importance of keeping the right to health central to public health. Amon reflects on the contributions of founding editor Jonathan Mann and of Paul Farmer. 

The December 2023 issue also has a section of articles examining the role of neoliberal policies in exacerbating economic inequality and preventing efforts to progressively realize the right to health. The papers examine health care systems and social determinants of health in the context of neoliberalism and in light of the recent and current crises of gross economic inequality, austerity measures, climate change, and COVID-19. Other articles in the issue reflect the broad field of the right to health, examining reproductive health and surrogacy, the rights of prisoners pertaining to COVID-19, or force feeding, and more.

Learn more about HHR Journal