International Human Rights Committee

IHRC is now on Google Groups! To stay up-to-date on the committee's activities and work on international human rights issues, we invite you to subscribe.

Information about the IHRC


“Rights are claims or entitlements to something or against someone that are recognized by legal rules or moral principles... A human right is a higher-order kind of right that is morally based and that universal, in the sense that it belongs equally to all persons simply because they are human beings.” [i]  

The International Human Rights Committee focuses on international health and human rights and reports to the Executive Board of the American Public Health Association.

The mission of the APHA International Human Rights Committee is to provide an impartial platform where scholars and professionals in the field can come together to examine, discuss and take action on human rights issues that have an impact on public health.


The IHRC provides guidance to the APHA Executive Board and membership regarding human rights issues of public health concern around the world. The IHRC sponsors a poster session and three scientific sessions during the APHA Annual Meeting, and the IHRC membership is responsible for the organziation of these sessions. Additionally, many members of the IHRC authored chapters in “Rights Based Approaches to Public Health,” which was co-edited by Elvira Beracochea (IHRC member), Corey Weinstein, (past IHRC chair) and Dabney Evans (past IHRC chair). 


IHRC members have special involvement with human rights activities in various areas of the world, e.g. Latin America, South Africa, Russia, Southeast Asia. Members serve two-year terms that can be repeated.

The IHRC is chaired by one individual and typically consists of 10-12 members, each serving a two-year term. The IHRC must remain small and flexible to allow it to move quickly when necessary. Members may be nominated during APHA’s annual nomination period. The APHA Executive Board appoints committee members. Members also may be nominated (or self-nominated) by APHA leadership. Additionally, interested APHA members may participate informally based on substantive interest. Professional experience with human rights issues is a valuable asset for potential members of this committee. 

The IHRC meets during the APHA Annual Meeting. Membersalso keep in touch and network through conference calls and emails.  APHA members may choose to participate in the activities conducted by the IHRC by indicating their interest to do so to the current chair.

Committee Chair: Dr. Benjamin Mason Meier   


Dr. Kristopher Fennie
Dr. Timothy H. Holtz
Dr. Luba Louise Ivanov
Dr. Emma Mitchell
Dr. David Liu
Dr. Leonard Rubenstein
Dr. Vamsi Vasireddy

Dr. Jerry Vincent
Dr. Judith L. Wold

APHA Staff Liaison:
Vina HuLamm
Office: 202-777-2506

[i] Easley, C. E., Marks, S. P., & Morgan, R. E. (Dec. 2001). The Challenge and Place of International Human Rights in Public Health. American Journal of Public Health, 91 (12), 1922-1925.