Health and Human Rights

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

What are the topics?

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies


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Read more about Negotiations

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Who should attend

Policy-makers and practitioners involved in international health cooperation and/or human rights practice, such as:

  • Government representatives engaged in international health or international human rights policy and law, including diplomatic missions
  • Representatives from international, regional and non-governmental organisations
  • Professionals in philanthropic organisations
  • Scholars and researchers from academic institutions

About the course

The commitments governments undertake in international human rights instruments affect national laws and policies, as well as the structuring of programmes in health. International human rights play a role in global governance of health as well. In today’s world, effective policymaking and diplomacy related to public health issues calls for a familiarity with the frameworks and mechanisms related to human rights. The development of international law and policy-making, as well as the growing body of scholarship on health and human rights, point to various perspectives that should be explored to gain a better understanding this complex and dynamic field, in particular the scope and impact of the “right to health” under international law, the use of other human rights to achieve equitable health outcomes, and the role of human rights commitments in counterbalancing the implementation of other bodies of law and policy in a globalised world.


  • Increase understanding of the role played by human rights law and practice in the governance of global health
  • Increase critical appreciation about the benefits and limits of a human rights approach in balancing diverse interests with the aim of securing equitable health outcomes
  • Reflect on the different roles played by the main actors and institutions, and on whether and how to access them and their mechanisms
  • Enhance participants’ negotiation skills through a differentiated analysis of actors and their mandate, role and interests, as well as by immersing into a simulated negotiation based on a real on-going scenario
  • Promote a network of health diplomats and foster peer learning.


This three-day course is designed to increase the understanding of participants on the role of international human rights law and practice in global health governance and diplomacy.

The course will explore the following questions:

  • What are the international standards and mechanisms that relate to the intersection of health and human rights?
  • What does it mean in practice to set out a “right to health,” and how might such a right be implemented in laws, policies and programs?
  • What is (and should be) the role of courts in enforcing health-related rights?
  • What are the key elements of ‘rights-based approaches’ in programmes and policies, with reference to specific health issues and affected populations?
  • Under international law, what limitations can be imposed on human rights out of concern for public health?

This course is designed to be highly interactive, drawing on national and international professional experiences of participants through a multi-disciplinary learning process. It also includes a simulated exercise through which participants will be able to apply the concepts addressed during the course.


Gian Luca Burci

Gian Luca Burci was named Adjunct Professor at the Institute in 2012. He has served in the Legal Office of the World Health Organization since 1998 and has been appointed Legal Counsel in 2005. Professor Burci previously served as Legal Officer at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna ...

Alicia Ely Yamin

Alicia Ely Yamin is currently a Senior Fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School, where she leads the Global Health and Rights Project, a collaboration with the Global Health Education and Learning Incubator (GHELI) at Harvard Unive...

Videos and materials

Health and Human Rights at Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Negotiations

During Negotiations courses, you will learn the following components of negotiations: planning negotiations and useful tools, starting your conversation, working out objections and competent argumentation, imposing your own price and conversation dev...

Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.

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