O'Neill group photo

Image courtesy of O’Neill Institute

“Participating in the Health Rights Litigation course in September of 2013 granted me the opportunity to interact with some of the best minds on health and human rights in the world. I was among forty-four participants who were representative of twenty-four countries from around the world. I attended the course at a time when KELIN had a court case challenging the wrongful imprisonment of two TB survivors, who had interrupted their treatment. Plans were also underway to file a case to safeguard the rights of five women living with HIV who had been subjected to forced and coerced sterilization.

Listening to Manuel José Cepeda Espinosa, former Chief Justice of Colombia’s Constitutional Court, helped shape my thoughts on how to frame some of the remedies that I was seeking in relation to the two cases. Given that Colombia had similar constitutional provisions as Kenya, I could relate to the great talk by the learned Justice. The TB case was successful and some of the structural remedies that we included, based on what I learned, were granted by the court. I made connections with representatives of the International Community of Women Living with HIV- Global (ICW-Global), and they have since joined onto our ongoing cases as an interested party. Other global health professionals have joined onto the case as friends of the court. This is attributed to the global platform provided by this intensive but informative course. I recommend it to anyone keen to make a change in health by using the law.”

-Allan Maleche, Executive Director of KELIN

“Attending the Health Rights Litigation course on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) litigation in November of 2014 enabled me to engage with advocates with different political contexts and legal backgrounds from other countries and regions. As an SRHR advocate in Brazil and Latin America, I was able to deepen my knowledge of the historical and political differences and controversies between the sexual rights and the reproductive rights movements, share lessons learned at a historical moment, following the ICPD beyond 2014 review process, and discuss major gains and challenges remaining 20 years after the adoption of the Cairo Program of Action. We were also able to learn about pioneering legal research on the impact of SRHR litigation in different countries, advances in comparative law, new and emerging SRHR themes, and successful litigation strategies employed in countries like India, Colombia and Argentina.

In the months following the course, through my organization Ipas and with key support from the organizers of the Health Rights Litigation course and other regional partners such as Promsex and CLACAI, I was able to organize a regional workshop directed towards legal scholars and advocates from different countries in Latin America and aimed at sharing lessons learned and promoting the use of strategic litigation on SRHR based on recent progressive decisions from national and regional courts, building on decades of political struggle, mobilization and advocacy in the region.”

-Beatriz Galli, Senior Regional Policy Advisor for Latin America at Ipas