Tag Archive for human rights

Baby Killer

Baby Killers' Dinner

Baby Killer Brian was running away. He dumped his laundry basket into the trunk of his car, wrapped his computer in a towel and stuffed it underneath the mixture of dirty and clean clothes, and took off North. His college midterms went poorly and the paper he wrote for the world philosophy class was just dreadful. He was tired and haven’t slept in a very long time. Life had gotten to be too much lately and he had enough of it. He drove into the night. He liked staring into the passing lights, it was easy to lose oneself in the monotony of the highway in the dark — nothing to really see, just the passing the headlights, reflectors, and the lit highway signs. He drove most of the night. In the gray pre-dawn, he noticed a small billboard for a rest stop, offering hot coffee. Without making a conscious decision, Brain found himself turning off on a small side road and then into a parking lot of a medium-sized diner. Quite a few cars were already parked in a cluster around the front entrance. Soft yellow light spilled out of the curtained windows. Brian parked his car in the…

“Red Notice”

Red Notice Cover Art

I work with human rights groups and with the International Criminal Court. Some of the background materials I have to read are heartbreaking. It takes me days to get over the reports of child abuse in Eastern Europe and the descriptions of mass rape atrocities in the Congo. I cry. It feels personal. I try not to read… For entertainment and emotional solace, I dive into science fiction or pure science books. I read constantly. But I don’t usually read political thrillers or autobiographies. “Red Notice” was different. The story felt personal, and the book came very well recommended. I’m a Russian Jew. I came to US as a refugee in the late seventies. While I was a teenager when my family left, I’m of “that” generation — the generation that is hesitant to believe good things coming out of Russia. Members of my family were beaten, shot, and killed there… It’s hard to “move on” after that. I’ve never been back. But some of my family have. And some even did business in Russia and its former republics. In 2015, one of my cousins (by marriage) was taken into custody in Bulgaria while on a family cruise vacation. He…

Health Foo: Health and Human Rights

I want to live a healthy life

“I want to live a healthy life!” For as long as humans have lived in groups, this meant a social covenant — conforming to rules set by many to insure mutual survival. One way or another, health and law have been intertwined for millennia: don’t poo in a public well — one of the first health edicts along with burial customs religious food-limiting laws — limiting food born illnesses from decimating communities mandatory immunization — the need for herd immunity Health and community are mutually entangled. The price of living in a community means giving up certain personal rights: “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one” But this is a delicate balance. As a group, societies have done horrendous thing to individuals in a name of greater good: taking a right to privacy forced quarantines, treatment, and sterilization compulsory rehabilitation subjugation of women and minorities Starting about the mid of the last century, the awareness for the need to protect the rights of the few and the one from the many grew in its momentum. It was striking to me how the 1943 Abraham Maslow’s Pyramid of Human Needs became an echo for…

World-wide Map of Health-based Human Rights Judgments

Benjamin Mason Meier, Assistant Professor of Global Health Policy, is one of the creators of the Global Health and Human Rights Database. Benjamin and his colleagues wanted to collect information on different forms of legal tools used around the world to advance the human rights in health. Here is a link to his paper describing the project: “Bridging international law and rights-based litigation: Mapping health-related rights through the development of the Global Health and Human Rights Database.” I was interested in seeing his data on the map. So I used an open source project CartoDB to plot Benjamin’s data on the map. And here’s a quick visualization. Now I’m interested in comparing the resulting map with The World Bank eAtlas of Global Development maps. In particular, it would be interesting to compare GDP with focus on health-based human rights.

Health, Human Rights, and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Mazlow's Hierarchy of Needs, used under the Creative Commons

In 1943, Abraham Maslow published a paper on human motivation: “A Theory of Human Motivation.” The ideas (and diagram) from that paper have been widely used in business schools and management training programs. But these same ideas can be applied to human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed into life by UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, just five years after the Maslow’s publication of “A Theory of Human Motivation”, echoes the work via a set of Articles stating the rights of every human being. Physiological Needs Article 25 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone is entitled to the right of adequate food (and presumably water is included), housing and clothing (for homeostasis control), and medical care. The right to medical care implies to me the right to live healthy, or at least healthy to the best of ability of a particular individual. This right to medical care as a universal right of all human beings can be interpreted to mean many things. For the purposes of the comparison to the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it could be interpreted as every human has the right to have their physiological needs met. This could…

Health and Human Rights

Healthcare is a Human Right

I have been collecting some background materials for Health and Human Rights and would like to share a few resources. United Nations Documents The Universal Declaration of Human Rights — Article 25 directly address health: (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. The right to the highest attainable standard of health : . 08/11/2000. Health is a fundamental human right indispensable for the exercise of other human rights. Every human being is entitled to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health conducive to living a life in dignity. The realization of the right to health may be pursued through numerous, complementary approaches, such as the formulation of health policies, or the implementation of health programmes developed by the World Health Organization…

Extreme Hypocrisy

Gul Meena, 17, left her abusive husband in Pakistan for another man. Meena's brother hacked her friend to death with an ax, before turning on her.

On the same day as I read about Gul Meena — a 17 year old Pakistani girl who was almost killed and severely maimed by her own brother — I bought a pair of skinny jeans. When I got home, I noticed they were made in Pakistan. I think I don’t need to say more… Gul Meena, 17, left her abusive husband in Pakistan for another man. Meena’s brother hacked her friend to death with an ax, before turning on her. Skinny Jeans Made in Pakistan