Human rights, social justice and health issues have emerged from the shadows in the media, classroom and political world over the last 30 years.
In keeping with its Franciscan traditions, St. Bonaventure University will host “Health, Human Rights and Social Justice in Latin America: A Case Study in Peru” with Harvard University instructor and fellow Alicia Ely Yamin.
The lecture, sponsored by the University’s new international studies major, will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 7 at The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
“Last year (we) brought to campus an FBI expert on international terrorism and I wanted to bring another speaker this year who would focus on another aspect of the world’s problems,” said Dr. Joel Horowitz, director of the new international studies program and Yamin’s professor at Harvard in the 1980s.
“I almost immediately thought of Alicia and her long record in fighting for human rights. By looking at different problems that the world faces, we hope to focus the University’s attention on growing globalization. Whether that globalization is good or bad, we are unlikely to escape its impacts.
Yamin is the Joseph H. Flom Fellow on Global Health and Human Rights at Harvard Law School and an instructor at the Harvard School of Public Health. She plans to discuss the proliferation of rights-based approaches to development and health.
Only 15 years ago, human rights were seen as largely separate from, if not irrelevant, to development and health programs. More recently, rights-based approaches have begun to emerge at different local and international levels. Yamin will discuss what bringing human rights to bear on development and health programs meant during her work on safe motherhood in Peru, a region that stands out for its income disparities and inequalities.
Before beginning her fellowship in September 2007, Yamin served as the director of research and investigations at Physicians for Human Rights, where she oversaw all of the organization’s field investigations.
Yamin has conducted human rights documentation and advocacy with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Latin America and the U.S. for more than 15 years. She is internationally recognized as the leader in conceptualization and implementation of rights-based approaches to health, and has published dozens of articles and several books relating to health and human rights in both English and Spanish.
Yamin serves as the executive director of the journal Health and Human Rights; co-chair of the International Human Rights Committee of the Boston Bar Association; member of the board of directors of Mental Disability Rights International; and as a member of the advisory committee for the Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health. She is also sits on several national and international professional review boards, including the editorial review board of Human Rights Quarterly and Human Rights and the Global Economy.
Yamin graduated summa cum laude from Harvard in 1987 with a bachelor’s in sociology and Latin American literature, cum laude in 1991 from Harvard Law School, and in 1996 from the Harvard School of Public Health.