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Open Access Highly Accessed Debate

Public health, conflict and human rights: toward a collaborative research agenda

Oskar NT Thoms1 and James Ron2*

Author Affiliations

1 Independent research consultant, Ottawa, Canada

2 Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

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Conflict and Health 2007, 1:11  doi:10.1186/1752-1505-1-11

Published: 15 November 2007


Although epidemiology is increasingly contributing to policy debates on issues of conflict and human rights, its potential is still underutilized. As a result, this article calls for greater collaboration between public health researchers, conflict analysts and human rights monitors, with special emphasis on retrospective, population-based surveys. The article surveys relevant recent public health research, explains why collaboration is useful, and outlines possible future research scenarios, including those pertaining to the indirect and long-term consequences of conflict; human rights and security in conflict prone areas; and the link between human rights, conflict, and International Humanitarian Law.