The O'Neill Institute Helps Launch First Ever Health and Human Rights Database

November 6, 2013 —

The O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center is proud to announce the launch of the Global Health and Human Rights Database — the first ever interactive, searchable, and fully indexed website of law relating to health and human rights. In partnership with the Lawyers Collective in India and the World Health Organization, the O'Neill Institute helped develop this groundbreaking tool, which gives key policymakers and members of the public alike access to a free, comprehensive repository of case law, national constitutions, and international legal instruments. 

"We were astounded that no such comprehensive database had ever existed," said Georgetown Law Professor Lawrence Gostin, Faculty Director of the O'Neill Institute. "Recognizing the need to compile the wealth of legal materials pertaining to health and human rights on one, user-friendly site, we worked hard with wonderful partners from around the world to make this happen." 

The O'Neill Institute initially partnered with the World Health Organization, which first conceived of the idea for the database. When it was discovered that the Lawyers Collective was working on a similar project, all three organizations — with the support of a worldwide network of nongovernmental organizations, academics, and private researchers — combined resources to develop the Global Health and Human Rights Database. 

"We think the law is an essential catalyst to achieving better health conditions around the world," said Visiting Professor Oscar Cabrera, Executive Director of the O'Neill Institute. "This database is a way to reflect what is already being done, and hopefully identify ways we can grow and advance the use of law to improve health in the future."

The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University was established in 2007 through the generous philanthropy of Linda and Timothy O’Neill to respond to the need for innovative solutions to the most pressing national and international health concerns. Housed at Georgetown Law, the O’Neill Institute also draws upon the resources of Georgetown University's School of Nursing & Health Studies, School of Medicine, McCourt School of Public Policy, and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics.

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