Press release: Global Health and Human Rights Database officially launched

Posted by Lawyers Collective and the O'Neill Institute on October 24, 2013

NEW YORK: Lawyers Collective and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University in Washington DC have launched the Global Health and Human Rights Database ( The Database is a fully searchable online database of more than 1000 judgments, constitutions and international instruments on the intersection between health and human rights.

The Database is the first attempt to comprehensively make available health and human rights law from both common and civil law jurisdictions, and features case law and other legal documents from more than 80 countries and in 25 languages. It also provides 500 plain-language summaries and 200 original translations of case law previously unavailable in English. The Database has been created in collaboration with more than 100 partners from civil society, academia, and legal practice worldwide.

An official public launch of the Database was held on 24 October 2013, at the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York.

Anand Grover, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health and the Director of the HIV/AIDS Unit at Lawyers Collective, gave the opening address at the launch. Mr. Grover emphasised the importance of the Database in providing free online access to legal materials for civil society in the developing world, and acknowledged the tremendous contributions of local partners in the development of the Database.

Mr. Grover’s speech was followed by two panels. The first panel discussed the history of the Database’s developments and provided a live demonstration of its current features, and featured Brian Citro from the University of Chicago and a Lawyers Collective alumnus, Ana Ayala from the O’Neill Institute, and Suzanne Zhou from the Lawyers Collective, moderated by Benjamin Mason Meier from the University of North Carolina.

The second panel discussed the potential contribution the Database could make to a wide range of health and human rights work, and featured panellists Terry McGovern from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Joe Amon of Human Rights Watch, and Nadia Rasheed of the United Nations Development Programme, moderated by Jonathan Cohen of the Open Society Foundations.

Lawyers Collective and the O’Neill Institute would like to thank all partners, staff and alumni, funders, and reviewers involved in the creation of the Database, as well as Dure Technologies, the Mumbai-based IT firm who designed the technical aspects of the website.

For more information about the Database, please email

Lawyers Collective and the O’Neill Institute welcome potential collaborators. Please contact Suzanne Zhou at for further details.

The launch webcast on UNTV may be viewed at the links below:

Part 1

Part 2


Anand Grover gives the opening speech at the Global Health and Human Rights Database Launch

Anand Grover – opening speech and first panel


Second panel

Panel featuring L-R Nadia Rasheed, Joe Amon, Terry McGovern, and Jonathan Cohen, Benjamin Meier at podium


Group photo

L-R: Brian Citro (Chicago), Suzanne Zhou (Lawyers Collective), Anand Grover (UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health), Ana Ayala (O’Neill Institute), Ben Meier (UNC), Mihir Mankad (Lawyers Collective)



Live demonstration of database

Lawyers Collective is a leading public interest law NGO in India focusing on strategic litigation and advocacy in HIV/AIDS and women’s rights, with offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore.

The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law is a premier research centre for global and national health law, policy and scholarship at Georgetown University.