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Human Rights in Practice: The Right to Health in Latin America

Alicia Ely Yamin, JD MPH, leads the Global Health and Rights Project at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics at Harvard Law School, a collaboration with the Global Health Education and Learning Incubator at Harvard University, and is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Since 2016, Yamin has served on the UN Secretary-General’s Independent Accountability Panel for the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health. Previously, she served on the Oversight Committee of Kenya’s Constitutional Implementation Commission’s work on the right to health, and as an Independent Expert to the Colombian Constitutional Court on the Implementation of its 2008 T-760/08 decision calling for restructuring the health system.

Professor Yamin will discuss her exploration of the conditions necessary for judicialization in the Latin America region to promote greater equity and accountability in health systems, and more broadly. She will argue that the experience of constitutionalization and judicial enforcement of the right to health in Latin America shows a number of lessons and challenges and that against backdrops of extreme social inequality, with poor responsiveness from the executive and legislative branches of government, as well as chronic regulatory failures within health systems, it is unsurprising that people take advantage of the favorable opportunity structures that exist in many courts. Professor Yamin will draw on her article “The Right to Health in Latin America: the Challenges of Constructing Fair Limits,” recently published in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law.

This talk will be moderated by Professor Aya Fujimura-Fanselow, Senior Lecturing Fellow and Supervising Attorney, Duke International Human Rights Clinic. The program is part of the Human Rights in Practice series, which is sponsored by Duke Law’s International Human Rights Clinic and the Center for International and Comparative Law. This event is also co-sponsored by the Duke Global Health Institute, the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Human Rights Law Society, and The International Law Society.

The event is free and open to all—no registration required—but space is limited. Lunch will be provided (first-come, first-served). For more information, please contact Balfour Smith at bsmith@law.duke.edu.


Duke Law School International Human Rights Clinic
Duke Law School Center for International and Comparative Law
Duke Global Health Institute
Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute
Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute of Ethics
Human Rights Law Society
International Law Society


Duke Law School Room 3043