IHR Clinic Associate Director Participates in WHO Expert Consultation and Presents at TB 2016 in South Africa

IHR Clinic Associate Director and Clinical Lecturer in Law, Brian Citro, spoke at the TB 2016 conference held in Durban, South Africa on July 16-17, 2016. Citro’s presentation, titled “Developing a Rights-Based Approach to TB: Concepts, Case Law and Legislation,” called for a human rights-based approach to tuberculosis (TB) that prioritizes individual entitlements, individual freedoms and protections, and rights related to protection of people with TB. TB is the leading infectious disease killer globally, having surpassed HIV/AIDS in 2015. Citro's presentation reflects the work of the IHR Clinic's TB and Human Rights project over the past year. This work includes the development of the “TB, Human Rights and Law Case Law Compendium,” researched and written by clinic student Noorjit Sidhu (class of 2017), and legislation research completed by clinic summer intern Shelbi Smith (class of 2018).

In addition to his presentation, Citro also took part in a networking session with Stop TB Partnership and KELIN (Kenya) to speak directly on conceptual and legal foundations of rights-based approaches to TB prevention,n in addition to working with communities to safeguard rights of TB patients.

TB 2016 was organized as a pre-conference to AIDS 2016, also held in Durban, South Africa. The IHR Clinic’s research has often drawn comparisons to global human rights-based approaches as effective methods to combatting HIV/AIDS epidemics, and has continuously urged global and national programs to adopt such an approach with TB prevention and treatment.

Citro also participated by invitation in a WHO Expert Consultation in Geneva, Switzerland. Held on July 14-15, 2016, the meeting allowed experts to contribute to the revision of the 2010 WHO Guidance on Ethics of TB Prevention, Care and Control. The guidance provides an ethical framework for TB to WHO member states and is meant to be directly incorporated into national TB programs. Citro presented on the ethical and human rights concerns associated with involuntary isolation of people with TB who refuse treatment and contributed thoughts on the overarching ethical framework used in the guidance. The new guidance will be released later this year.