Title

Women's Rights, Human Rights and the Criminal Law or, Feminist Debates and Responses to [De]Criminalization and Sexual and Reproductive Health

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-22-2019

ISSN

0272-5037

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Language

en-US

Abstract

My comments today seek to highlight how social and economic rights advocates, particularly those concerned with the right to health, engage with ongoing debates about the role of criminal law in human rights. In particular, I emphasize how many “right to health” campaigns fight for the decriminalization of laws that result in the arrest of marginalized communities or health workers. This trend within right to health advocacy complicates what has been called the anti-impunity turn in human rights. In other words, although many scholars have correctly highlighted the rise of a carceral agenda in human rights, there is also ongoing, and perhaps growing, emphasis on decriminalization in the context of social and economic rights. This presentation gives a brief overview of the fight for decriminalization in the context of the right to health, highlights the challenges faced by advocates of in those campaigns, and reflects on some cautionary tales emerging from these fights for decriminalization.

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