CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA's 2019 Annual Meeting and Expo

Human Rights Forum

Meeting theme: Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health

Submission Deadline: Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Human Rights Forum of the American Public Health Association (APHA) seeks abstracts for the APHA’s Annual Meeting occurring November 2nd – 6th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The goal of the Human Rights Forum is to advance the idea that human rights are an essential foundation of public health and to mainstream human rights in all spheres of public health practice.

Human rights are now held up as a modern guide for public health, a vision that all public health scholars and practitioners should uphold in their work.  Under this rights-based approach to health, health disparities can be understood as rights violations, and patients and individuals are empowered to restrict and embolden government action to respond to those violations. The right to health provides a normative framework with universal standards to articulate government responsibilities and evaluate health outcomes; empirical evidence supports the assertion that the existence of the right leads to positive health outcomes.

The theme of this year’s APHA Annual Meeting is “Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health.”, which is also the motto of APHA. APHA decided to use its motto for this year’s theme to emphasize the interrelated importance of science, action and health. No leg can stand alone. This theme aligns with the goal of the Human Rights Forum, as the Forum seeks to provide space for intersectional perspectives, discoveries, and accomplishments. The Human Rights Forum encourages input from all types of experts whose work affects public health and human rights.

The topics we are accepting abstracts on are:

  • A Rights-Based Approach to Global Health Governance
    This topic recognizes that public health advocacy doesn’t stop at national borders. With the rise of global health as a concept comes the rise of international organizations, institutions, and advocacy aimed at advancing the discipline. This is a core issue of the Human Rights Forum; this topic is included in every year’s call for abstracts.
  • Evidence for Human Rights-Based Approaches
    Despite years of evidence establishing credence to the conclusion that the right to health leads to positive health outcomes (with a notable example being the December 2015 volume of the Health & Human Rights Journal), many public health experts still doubt what a normative system can contribute to scientific research and application. This session aims to provide space for quantitative and qualitative evidence of the impacts that a rights-based approach (or utilizing human rights principles) has had on health outcomes. This session relates to the annual meeting’s theme.
  • Health & Human Rights in a Populist World
    Throughout the US and Europe, there has been a political backlash claiming to push against elite-driven undemocratic systems. However, with this anti-status quo perspective has come right-wing populism that has directly assaulted the realization of the right to health. From repelling migrants—even asylum seekers—to the dramatic uptick of public anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and racism, an ethno-nationalist lens has arisen that aims to determine, and shrink, who is deserving of human rights. In multiple fields, health advocates are being forced to justify previously accepted norms and finding that evidence-based arguments are opposed due to ideology. This movement has also caused a withdrawal of leadership and influence by the US and others in responding to global health threats. This session aims to provide a space to discuss these challenges and potential solutions. This session relates to the annual meeting’s theme.
  • Human Rights, Law and Health Care
    The Human Rights Forum and Law Section are partnering to offer a collaborative session focused on issues at the intersection of human rights, law and health care. The Human Rights Forum and Law Section are interested in submissions that explore relevant issues including the value of rights-based approaches to health care, human rights and the social determinants of health, and human rights implications of current health care law and policy. Abstracts related to the future of the Affordable Care Act and universal healthcare after the 2018 US election are particularly appreciated.
  • Right to Health Advocacy in the United States
    This topic concerns the practice of human rights, including the usage of the language of rights or having a rights-based approach, in promoting public health in the United States. This is a core issue of the Human Rights Forum; this topic is included in every year’s call for abstracts.
  • TENTATIVE: Health Equity and Human Rights at the Junction of Mass Incarceration
    Please note that this is a tentative session. It is not yet decided whether this session will be created for the 2019 annual meeting. If the session is not created, abstracts submitted to this topic will be treated like the abstracts submitted to the "Other Issues Relating to Health and Human Rights" topic. The Medical Care Section's Justice & Incarcerated Health and Health Equity Committees and The Human Rights Forum are tentatively partnering to offer a collaborative session. The rise of mass incarceration has brought about large, long-term and aging prison populations in overburdened and under-resourced institution. These populations face unique health risks while often being provided the minimum health care that the Constitution allows, and sometimes even less, including limited access to compassionate release and transitional care. This session seeks abstracts exploring relevant issues of providing a community-based standard of care, the impact of dual loyalty between patient care and Correctional systems, and public health policies and practices addressing population health.
  • Other Issues Relating to Health and Human Rights
    This open topic is meant to allow authors with abstracts that don’t fall within any of the other categories to still submit their abstracts to the Human Rights Forum. Abstracts will still undergo the same review process as all others. However, unlike the other topics, this open topic has no associated oral session. That means that submissions to this open topic that are accepted will either be accepted as a poster presentation or, if possible, combined into another session.
Abstracts must be submitted under one of the categories above. All submissions must relate to human rights as a basis for public health. Abstracts are limited to 250 words. Referral to web pages or URLs may not be used for abstracts. An author may not submit the same abstract to more than one Section, SPIG, Caucus or Forum of the APHA. Oral presentations are generally 13-15 minutes in length, with 4 presenters per session being standard. Those presenting posters should display and be available to answer questions throughout the scheduled 60-minute poster session. If you have any questions, please contact the Programming Officer.


Program Planner Contact Information:

Gabriel Armas-Cardona, Esq.
Law Faculty
University of Leipzig
Burgstrasse 21
Phone: 015204469451