AUWCL, PAHO Celebrate Launch of Report on the Right to Health of Young People
Washington, Dec. 15, 2011 - As part of their ongoing collaboration to advance health and reduce health inequalities for some of the world’s most vulnerable people, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and American University Washington College of Law recently celebrated the release of PAHO’s new report on “The right to health of young people and gender identities: trends and targets for public health action.”
The report was written by American University Washington College of Law alumni Javier Vásquez, LL.M. ‘96, PAHO Regional Human Rights Law Advisor (GDR), and Cristina Leria, LL.M. ‘09, PAHO Consultant on Health and Human Rights, and reviewed by Daniela Kraiem, Associate Director, Women and the Law Program, American University Washington College of Law, among others. The report analyzes trends in the region regarding the enjoyment of the right to health and other related human rights in the context of young people’s gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientation.
“Washington College of Law is committed to taking full advantage of our collaboration with PAHO to better serve our mission to maximize the impact of human rights law and the right to health in the Region," said Dean Claudio Grossman. “This report is a perfect example of the collaboration in action.”
The report calls for an end to discrimination against LGBTI persons. It recommends actions for both human rights advocates and public health professionals, such as recognizing LGBTI persons as protected under anti-discrimination laws, decriminalizing same-sex behavior, addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people, and ensuring that the health needs of LGBTI persons are included in health care systems.
“PAHO’s report is at the forefront of the trend towards global recognition of LGBTI rights as human rights,” said Kraiem. “Through the hard work of committed advocates, the complex role gender plays in the right to health of young people is finally being recognized in both domestic and international law.”
A panel of experts discussed the report at the launch event, Thursday, Dec. 8:
- Moderator: Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, Director, PAHO
- Paula Uribe, Senior Advisor U.S. Department of State
- Santiago Canton, Secretary, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
- Marcela Romero, Founder of REDLACTRANS (“Latin American Network of Transgender People”)
- Daniela Kraiem, Associate Director, Women and the Law Program, American University Washington College of Law
Under the agreement with PAHO signed in 2009, American University Washington College of Law uses its expertise in international human rights law, international environmental law, international protection of intellectual property, and gender and the law to strengthen efforts by PAHO and its Member States to advance health and reduce health inequities, particularly for the most vulnerable groups. The collaboration on this report is part of the work of the Women and the Law Program’s new “Project on Gender, Health and Justice.”
Looking ahead, In March 2012, PAHO and AUWCL will co-host a major international conference on “Global Health, Gender and Human Rights,” which will include sessions on the right to health of LGBTI persons.