people carrying signs at a health rights rally
Health & Human Rights

Health & Human Rights studies the relationship of international human rights law and their relationship to positive health outcomes, in particular the impact of litigation.

Featured Projects

Healthy Families Initiative

More information to come


Human Rights Day

Each year the international community celebrates Human Rights Day on December 10th, the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In 2018, the O’Neill Institute celebrated the 70th anniversary of the UDHR, an incredible accomplishment by the international community to protect all people. “The UDHR gave people the power to claim their rights to health and to dignity,” says Professor Lawrence Gostin. However, new global and national challenges have lead to marginalized groups be denied their rights.

The O’Neill Institute is committed upholding human rights and promoting the deep connection with public health. Recent work involves legal mapping of the rights of migrants in the context of tuberculosis and ensuring the right to HIV prevention and treatment services to to marginalized communities in the US and around the globe.


Dialogues on Being Human: The Intersections of Art, Health and Dignity

The Dialogues on Being Human: the Intersections of Art, Health and Dignity series seek to make health and human rights issues more visible and comprehensible, by harnessing the power of art to convey the linkages between being human, living with dignity as a subject of rights and well-being; and to provide space to explore inter-disciplinary forms of knowing and sharing the human experience. Too often siloed scholarship in and beyond law is limited to forms of knowledge appealing to self- defined, specialized audiences, which can preclude the intuitive reactions that reveal much about the experience of both enjoyment and violation of rights. The selected artists share evocative artwork that was often created in response to experiences of exclusion or deprivation, or with the aim of expressing what complex human identity means to them. Bringing together these works of art and the artists who create them in one evening of intimate conversation with a leading human rights scholar, invites further reflection and inter-disciplinary dialogues. The aim of the Dialogues on Being Human is to open people to different dimensions of questions about the meaning of being human and using rights to create social transformation that advances human dignity and well-being. Information on the individual artist programs Anita Alvin Nilert is the Curator for the Dialogues on Being Human Series Support for the Art Dialogues is being provided by a generous gift from the Hans von Kantzow Foundation. still from The End of carrying All showing a woman carrying materials with a sunset behind her Wangechi Mutu, still from The End of carrying All, 2015 –3 Screen Animated Video (color, sound) 9 minutes 27 seconds loop, Edition of 3, Courtesy of the Artist, Gladstone Gallery New York and Brussels, Susanne Vietmetter Los Angeles Projects, and Victoria Miro London.