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Release: April 1, 1999

Global health conference at UI April 9-11 to focus on health and human rights

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Helping students and health care providers better understand the relationship between health and human rights is the focus of the conference "Global Health, Social Justice and Human Rights" April 9-11 at the University of Iowa.

The conference is open to UI students, faculty, staff and the public interested in international health and human rights issues. Some of the topics to be discussed include: the effects of global economic disparities and dangerous working conditions on health; health and human rights of poor and minority peoples, the elderly, women and children; the potential for health and human rights violations in genetics research; and careers or volunteer opportunities in the field of health and human rights.

"There are people in all parts the world, including the United States, who experience poor health mainly because their most basic human rights are denied," said Maureen McCue, M.D., chair of the conference, physician at UI Student Health Services and adjunct assistant professor of anthropology. "People are denied safe environments and safe working conditions, as well as access to health education and other resources because of economic conditions, age, gender or disability. These are issues that affect all health care professionals."

The three-day conference will consist of panel session presentations, followed by question/discussion periods. Among the guest speakers will be Robin Alexander, director of international labor affairs for United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, based in Pittsburgh; Chris Jochnik, founder of the Center for Economic and Social Rights in New York; and Allen Keller, co-founder and director of the Bellvue/New York University Program for Survivors of Torture.

UI sponsors of the conference are International Programs, the Global Health Studies Program, the Center for International Rural and Environmental Health, the Office of the Associate Provost for Health Sciences, and the UI colleges of medicine and nursing.

Conference registration is recommended. To register, call (319) 335-2825 or (319) 335-2820. For more information on the conference, contact McCue at (319) 353-5968 or (319) 628-4789.