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Zika Virus Infection in Brazil and Human Rights Obligations

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 136(1), p. 105-110, Jan 2017

11 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2017  

Debora Diniz

Institute of Bioethics, Human Rights and Gender, University of Brasilia (UnB)Anis, Brazil

Sinara Gumieri

Anis Institute of Bioethics

Beatriz Galli

IPAS USA

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Bernard Dickens

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2017

Abstract

The February 2016 WHO declaration that congenital Zika syndrome [CZS] constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern reacted to the outbreak of CZS in Brazil. Public health emergencies can justify a spectrum of human rights responses, but in Brazil the emergency exposed prevailing inequities in the national health care system. The government’s urging to contain the syndrome, which is associated with microcephaly among newborns, is confounded by lack of reproductive health services in Brazil. Poor women in particular have little access to such health services. The emergency also illuminates the harm of restrictive abortion legislation, and potential violations of human rights regarding women’s health and under the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child and on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Suggestions have been proposed by which the government can remedy the widespread healthcare inequities among the national population that are instructive for other countries where CZS is prevalent.

Keywords: Children's Rights, Congenital Zika Syndrome, Disability Rights, Human Rights, Public Health, Women's Rights, Zika Infection

JEL Classification: J13, I18, K10, I10

Suggested Citation

Diniz, Debora and Gumieri, Sinara and Galli, Beatriz and Cook, Rebecca J. and Dickens, Bernard, Zika Virus Infection in Brazil and Human Rights Obligations (January 1, 2017). International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 136(1), p. 105-110, Jan 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2894071

Debora Diniz

Institute of Bioethics, Human Rights and Gender, University of Brasilia (UnB)Anis, Brazil ( email )

Caixa Postal 8011
Brasilia
Bouvet Island

Sinara Gumieri

Anis Institute of Bioethics ( email )

Caixa Postal 8011
Brasília
Brazil

Maria Beatriz Galli Bevilacqua

IPAS USA ( email )

P.O. Box 5027
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
United States

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 Queen's Park Cr.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4446 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

Bernard Dickens (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4849 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

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