Health and Human Right Journal   |  September 17, 2016

Alicia Ely Yamin’s book Power, Suffering, and the Struggle for Dignity is necessary reading for advocates, practitioners, and students from any discipline interested in understanding the intersection between human rights and health. It underlines the importance of applying a rights-based framework to health systems, policies, and laws that cause suffering, social inequalities and injustices in countries and regions around the world. The author examines the interdependence between social epidemiology, social medicine, public health, law, sexual and reproductive health, and human rights. She explores the interdependence between health and other human rights including the right to sexual autonomy, bodily integrity, and access to education, clean water, transportation, housing. She highlights the evolving field over time and how the emergence of new identities based on sexual orientation and gender identity demand a holistic approach to traditional human rights, as well as a more emancipatory rights frameworks based on dignity.

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