Instructor(s): Lisa Forman

This section of this course is offered on campus, for students who can attend in person. In order to safeguard the health and safety of students, there is a possibility that all sections of this class will convert to a remote format for all or part of the term. To enrol in this course all students must meet or exceed the tech requirements for enrolment in University of Toronto courses, which can be found here []

This course is open to Graduate Students only. Students on the waitlist must attend while on the waitlist if they wish to be confirmed in the course at the end of the add/drop period should a spot arise.

Location: TBA

Note: The Quercus program will be used for this course. Students must self-enrol in Quercus before the first class in order to obtain course information including syllabus and readings. Students who have not enrolled on Quercus by the third week of term will not be permitted to continue with the course.

The course is structured in three modules: The first module will introduce students to international law, human rights and the right to health. It will explore the theory behind the relationship between health and human rights, and whether human rights complement or impinge on public and global health concerns with remediating inequity and marginalization and achieving social justice. It will overview the international human rights law system, including relevant international human rights law treaties and committees, focusing on the right to health. It will examine core principles and categories of human rights, including the idea of indivisibility.

The second module will turn to explore mechanisms for realizing the right to health, including international procedures, domestic litigation, advocacy and rights-based health policy, programming and evaluation. It will explore critiques of international law and human rights, including its relevance to global and public health. It will consider the role of public health professionals in promoting health and human rights, and the relevance of the human rights framework to public and global health practice in Canada. Students will then apply these principles and mechanisms in a role-play exercise simulating an international human rights law process.

The third module will investigate global health and human rights case-studies, including globalization and access to medicines, the social determinants of health (focusing on the right to water), disability and global mental health sexual and reproductive health rights and maternal mortality.

Students will be required to write a proposal for a final research paper and project worth 15%, participate in a group role-play exercise worth 30%, and write a final paper and project of 10 and 5 pages respectively worth 40% of the grade (30/10% respectively). Participation and online attendance will constitute 15% of the final grade, and students will have the option of writing a reflection paper worth 5% extra credit. These assignment methods may be modified prior to the start of the seminar as indicated by the final syllabus available through Dalla Lana School of Public Health by December 2020.
Academic year
2020 - 2021

At a Glance

Second Term





T: 1:00 - 4:00 (in-class)