180.636.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 2nd Term | 3 Credit(s)
WTh 3:30:00 PM
  • Contact Information
    Robert Lawrence
    David Stein
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Discuss and begin to understand the realization of the right to health and its consequences for health practice,based on building a "culture of human rights" through law, ethics, policy, economics and 'social norms'.
    • Understand some governmental obligations for health under international human rights law and practice or "custom".
    • Describe some commonalities between public health and human rights, including human rights law.
    • Discuss application of the human rights framework to the design, implementation, and evaluation of public health policies and interventions,
    • Understand some health impacts of human rights violations,
    • Discuss dilemmas in the application of human rights principles to health research and practice, and
    • Discuss some of the numerous roles for health professionals in documenting and ameliorating human rights violations
  • Course Description
    Instruction and student-led discussion broadly focuses on these areas: (1) human rights in general, (2) health as a human right, (2) impact of health policies, programs and practices on human rights, and (3) collective impacts of human rights violations, whether gross violations in human conflict or insidious violations associated with mistreatment of individuals and marginalized groups.
  • Intended Audience

    Graduate students: including but not limited to public health, medical, business, and nursing students

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Currently NOT open to undergraduate students due to Scheduling issues and course workload.

  • Methods of Assessment

    Papers and short assignments

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    GRADING: At least 20% of grade is determined by active participation in class discussions and at times through in class presentations.Short assignments are worth at least 10% each. Your final paper accounts for 30% of your grade and will normally be due during the week after TERM II ends. 

  • Prerequisites

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Open to graduate students only as of 2011 academic year. If you are a graduate student or an undergraduate public health student with human rights experience in academia, practice or field research, please do feel free to contact David Stein or Robert Lawrence, if you wish to discuss questions or qualification for this seminar. It is best to write with questions or to seek required instructor consent prior to the first week of term II each year. 

  • Required Text(s)

    Readings will normally all be posted on Course Plus and any additional texts or material are optional.

  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Welcome Message


    We are refreshing this course with new readings and topic structure for TERM II 2013-14. Please be mindful that this seminar requires very careful reading of often unfamiliar material to facilitate understanding of human rights and human rights as they relate to health. Beginning in the 2010 - 2011 academic year, this course replaced both the prior second term and third term health and human rights seminars that were taught in prior academic years. For additional questions or concerns, please contact either or both Dr. Stein or Dr. Lawrence via e-mail for the best response times. Please note that a revised course outline will be published during late October each year.


  • Exam Format

    No exams. Short papers and a relatively short final paper, as well as expected and graded class participation in discussions and / or presentations.

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at