Benjamin Mason Meier

Benjamin Mason Meier
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | UNC · Department of Public Policy and Department of Health Policy & Management

JD, LLM, PhD
Interdisciplinary research at the intersection of public health, human rights, and global governance

About

191
Publications
49,276
Reads
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2,069
Citations
Citations since 2016
108 Research Items
1614 Citations
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Introduction
Dr. Meier’s interdisciplinary research—at the intersection of international law, public policy, and global health—examines human rights frameworks for global health governance. Advancing rights-based frameworks for public health, he has written and presented extensively on the development, evolution, and implementation of global health law – serving as a consultant to international organizations, national governments, and nongovernmental organizations.
Additional affiliations
September 2010 - present
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Position
  • Water Wisdom: Developing Local-Global Capacities in Managing Water
May 2010 - present
University of Cape Town
Position
  • The Right to Health in South Africa: A Study of the Policy Making Process in Community Participation
January 2010 - December 2012
Education
August 2005 - May 2009
Columbia University
Field of study
  • Sociomedical Sciences
August 1998 - May 2001
Cornell Law School
Field of study
  • Law
August 1998 - May 2001
Université de Paris I and Cornell Law School
Field of study
  • International and Comparative Law

Publications

Publications (191)
Book
Full-text available
Human rights are essential to global health, yet rising threats in an increasingly divided world are challenging the progressive evolution of health-related human rights. It is necessary to empower a new generation of scholars, advocates, and practitioners to sustain the global commitment to universal rights in public health. Looking to the next ge...
Article
Full-text available
This introductory column examines the development of the field, detailing the evolving scope and content of global health law. Beginning in the early history of international health law, national governments have long sought to address infectious disease threats through international regulations. This focus on international health law structured gl...
Article
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Despite a recent wave in global recognition of the rights of transgender and gender-diverse populations, referred to in this text by the umbrella label of trans*, international law continues to presume a cisgender binary definition of gender — dismissing the lived realities of trans* individuals throughout the world. This gap in international legal...
Article
This is a pivotal moment in the global governance response to pandemic threats, with crucial global health law reforms being undertaken simultaneously in the coming years: the revision of the International Health Regulations, the implementation of the GHSA Legal Preparedness Action Package, and the negotiation of a new Pandemic Treaty. Rather than...
Article
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Climate change poses a cataclysmic threat to public health and human rights [...]
Article
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With growing recognition of the extent to which human activities are imperilling planetary health, it is critical to understand how international law can uphold a healthy environment. Drawing from 50 years of dedicated diplomacy, the United Nations General Assembly has recognised the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment under inte...
Article
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Background and aims: The World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) seeks to realize the right to health through national tobacco control policies. However, few States have met their obligations under Article 14 of the FCTC to develop evidence-based policies to support tobacco cessation. This article examines ho...
Article
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This article examines the influence of human rights law on infectious disease control through the World Health Organization ( who ) International Health Regulations (‘ IHR ’). The who ’s evolving work to mainstream human rights in global health governance strongly influenced the 2005 revision of the ihr , framing a new balance between health and hu...
Article
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Female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) affects tens of millions of women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa, yet this inequitable threat is often overlooked by advocates in both the neglected tropical disease (NTD) and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) communities. FGS causes both acute infection and long-term sexual and reproductive heal...
Article
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This article examines the changing global health governance landscape in the pandemic response, analysing opportunities and obstacles for implementing global obligations. Outlining how international organisations have advanced human rights to bring nations together in responding to global health threats, Part 2 chronicles the evolution of human rig...
Article
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This article examines how the ‘health security’ paradigm positions health-related human rights as subordinate to national security concerns. As a consequence, health is viewed instrumentally, shifting the global health response towards maintaining national security rather than upholding human rights. We trace here how both the World Health Organiza...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the inequitable health harms and human rights violations faced by older persons, raising a need to support healthy ageing policy as a human rights imperative. However, international human rights law has long neglected the health-related human rights of older persons. Drawing from evolving advocacy efforts to advan...
Article
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Recognizing marked limitations of global health law in the COVID-19 pandemic, a rising number of states in the World Health Assembly have proposed the development of a new pandemic treaty. This prospective treaty has the potential to clarify state obligations for pandemic preparedness and response and strengthen World Health Organization authoritie...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter introduces the field of global health law as a foundation to prevent disease and promote health in a globalizing world. Recognizing inequalities in public health throughout the world, the Background section considers the extent to which legal capacities and authorities differ across nations, undermining efforts to achieve equity in glo...
Article
Full-text available
While human rights law has evolved to provide guidance to governments in realizing human rights in public health emergencies, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the foundations of human rights in global health governance. Public health responses to the pandemic have undermined international human rights obligations to realize (1) the rights to he...
Article
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The recent rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines offers hope in addressing the worst pandemic in a hundred years. However, many countries in the Global South face great difficulties in accessing vaccines, partly because of restrictive intellectual property law. These laws exacerbate both global and domestic inequalities and prevent countries from...
Article
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Half of humanity has personal experience with menstruation, spending approximately half of their lives managing their menstruation, yet it is only recently that “menstrual health” has received more than passing attention in health policy. The emerging field of critical menstrual studies looks to change that, drawing on lived experience and critical...
Article
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Violence against health care systems is an assault on health and human rights. Despite the evolution of global standards to protect health workers and ensure the delivery of health care in times of conflict, attacks against health systems have continued throughout the world—violating humanitarian law, undermining human rights, and threatening publi...
Article
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This special issue of Global Health Governance seeks to evaluate the global health governance implications and applications of Global Health Justice and Governance. Introducing the special issue, this editorial describes the central importance of this work as a foundation of global governance for health. The editorial begins by briefly reviewing Pr...
Article
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The field of 'Global Health Law' has developed over the past decade to provide a basis for responding to the rising health threats of a globalising world. Where public health issues were long thought to be amenable to domestic regulation, globalised health threats have internationalised many public health concerns, giving rise to a new field. As th...
Article
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Background As COVID-19 has spread throughout the world, domestic public health responses have neglected human rights. Human rights are crucial to public health promotion, yet there are significant gaps in how human rights are being monitored during the pandemic response. Existing efforts to track potential human rights violations in domestic respon...
Preprint
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Chronicling the evolution of human rights in WHO governance since its establishment, this chapter examines WHO’s contributions to human rights in global health. Part I presents the post-war legal debates that gave rise to both international health governance and human rights law, creating WHO’s expansive public health mandate as a basis to realize...
Article
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has sought to bring the world together to respond to a shared threat. This column seeks to examine the central importance of WHO in developing and implementing global health law. Recognizing that global health law requires global governance, the column begins by situating WHO’s role at the forefront of global hea...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has led policy makers to expand traditional public health surveillance to take advantage of new technologies, such as tracking apps, to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This article explores the human rights dimensions of how these new surveillance technologies are being used and assesses the extent to which they entail legit...
Article
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The International Health Regulations (ihr), of which the World Health Organization is custodian, govern how countries collectively promote global health security, including prevention, detection, and response to global health emergencies such as the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. Countries are permitted to exercise their sovereignty in taking additiona...
Article
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The International Health Regulations ( ihr ), of which the World Health Organization is custodian, govern how countries collectively promote global health security, including prevention, detection, and response to potential global health emergencies such as the ongoing covid -19 pandemic. While Article 44 of this binding legal instrument requires c...
Article
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COVID-19 demands international cooperation, yet populist nationalism is resurgent, threatening public health, human rights, and global governance. In responding to the pandemic, populist nationalism and global solidarity represent distinct paths, with enduring consequences for health and human rights.
Article
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The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading an unprecedented pandemic response while facing relentless political attacks. Never before has the world been so reliant on WHO. Never before has WHO faced such existential challenges to its institutional authority. Responding to these contemporary attacks on WHO governance requires a detailed understa...
Article
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Throughout the world, laws play an important role in shaping population health. Law making is an intervention with measurable effects yet often unfolds without evaluation or monitoring. Policy surveillance—the systematic, scientific collection and analysis of laws of public health significance—can help bridge this gap by capturing important feature...
Article
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In this editorial, we reflect on the challenges that nationalism poses in the COVID-19 response, conceptualizing how we could reimagine global health governance. We begin by examining how international organizations have sought to bring nations together in responding to global health threats. However, international institutions are facing increasin...
Article
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This column explores the global health law reforms necessary to progressively realize universal access to a future COVID-19 vaccine. We begin by explaining the importance of global health law in the distribution of essential vaccines as a determinant of public health. The column then turns to examine the human rights foundations of global health la...
Article
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To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, governments throughout the world have introduced emergency measures that constrain individual freedoms, social and economic rights and global solidarity. These regulatory measures have closed schools, workplaces and transit systems, cancelled public gatherings, introduced mandatory home confinement and deployed l...
Chapter
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This chapter analyzes the fundamental importance of monitoring and review procedures to assess the implementation of human rights to advance public health. Recognizing monitoring and review as central to human rights accountability, the evolving functions of human rights monitoring highlight the range of national, regional, and international review...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter conceptualizes the threat of populism to global health and human rights. Part I examines the roots of contemporary populism, with the realization of a globalizing and interconnected world— bound together by shared norms— leading to the rise of fundamentalist movements that seek to return to an imagined past. Giving rise to right- wing...
Chapter
This chapter addresses the international organizations that have accepted human rights obligations as a way of framing their global health policies, programs, and practices. International organizations within the United Nations (UN) system are engaged in implementing human rights—in both the mission they carry out and the way in which they carry ou...
Chapter
This introductory chapter seeks to define the relationship between global health and human rights and examine the evolving field of health and human rights. Global health and human rights are complementary approaches to defining and advancing human health and well-being. Where global health prioritizes the improvement of public health and health eq...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the evolving understanding of human rights to encompass determinants of health through the human rights to water and sanitation, which are vital to the prevention of both communicable and non-communicable disease. In 2002, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights argued that the right to water is a...
Chapter
This chapter examines the historical origins of human rights as a basis for public health. Tracing the idea of rights from philosophical notions of natural rights to human rights under international law, the normative foundations underlying rights have long been seen as central to health and well-being—from the political engagement with underlying...
Chapter
This introductory chapter seeks to define the relationship between global health and human rights and examine the evolving field of health and human rights. Global health and human rights are complementary approaches to defining and advancing human health and well-being. Where global health prioritizes the improvement of public health and health eq...
Chapter
This chapter examines the historical origins of human rights as a basis for public health. Tracing the idea of rights from philosophical notions of natural rights to human rights under international law, the normative foundations underlying rights have long been seen as central to health and well-being—from the political engagement with underlying...
Chapter
This chapter examines the threat of populism to global health and human rights. Out of the ashes of World War II, institutions of global health and human rights have brought the world together in unprecedented cooperation, giving rise to the successes and opportunities detailed throughout this text. However, the current populist age threatens these...
Chapter
This chapter addresses the international organizations that have accepted human rights obligations as a way of framing their global health policies, programs, and practices. International organizations within the United Nations (UN) system are engaged in implementing human rights—in both the mission they carry out and the way in which they carry ou...
Chapter
This chapter analyzes the fundamental importance of monitoring and review procedures to assess the implementation of human rights to advance public health. Recognizing monitoring and review as central to human rights accountability, the evolving functions of human rights monitoring highlight the range of national, regional, and international review...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the evolving understanding of human rights to encompass determinants of health through the human rights to water and sanitation, which are vital to the prevention of both communicable and non-communicable disease. In 2002, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights argued that the right to water is a...
Article
Human rights are essential to global health, yet rising threats in an increasingly divided world are challenging the progressive evolution of health-related human rights. It is necessary to empower a new generation of scholars, advocates, and practitioners to sustain the global commitment to universal rights in public health. Looking to the next ge...
Chapter
Full-text available
Human rights offer universal frameworks to advance justice in public health, codifying international standards to frame government obligations. Health-related human rights have evolved dramatically over the past thirty years to offer a normative framework for justice in preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious disease outbreaks. Where hu...
Chapter
Full-text available
Policymakers have come to look to human rights law in framing national health policy and global health governance. Human rights law offers universal frameworks to advance justice in public health, codifying international standards to frame government obligations and facilitate accountability for realising the highest attainable standard of health....
Article
This chapter introduces the field of global health law as a foundation to prevent disease and promote health in a globalizing world. Recognizing inequalities in public health throughout the world, the Background section considers the extent to which legal capacities and authorities differ across nations, undercutting efforts to achieve equity in gl...
Article
Full-text available
Global health law remains crucial to preventing, detecting, and responding to COVID-19 — implementing the IHR to control the rapid spread of this novel coronavirus — and this column explores the long evolution and continuing limitations of this WHO framework. Outlining the international legal landscape, this column examines the evolution of global...
Article
Full-text available
The United Nations (UN) plays a central role in realizing human rights to advance global health. Looking beyond state obligations, the UN has called on all its specialized agencies to implement human rights across all their activities. With globalization compelling these UN institutions to meet an expanding set of global challenges to underlying de...
Article
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In September 2019, Dubravka Šimonovic, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on violence against women (VAW), submitted her report to the UN General Assembly on “mistreatment and VAW during reproductive health services with a focus on childbirth and obstetric violence”. This report solidified obstetric violence as a form of VAW – a human right...
Article
Full-text available
Immunization plays a crucial role in global health security, preventing public health emergencies of international concern and protecting individuals from infectious disease outbreaks, yet these critical public health benefits are dependent on immunization law. Where public health law has become central to preventing, detecting, and responding to i...
Chapter
Full-text available
Institutions matter for the advancement of human rights in global health. Given the dramatic development of human rights under international law and the parallel proliferation of global institutions for public health, there arises an imperative to understand the implementation of human rights through global health governance. This volume examines t...