Human Rights and the Social Determinants of Health

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JJR Macleod Auditorium

1 King's College Circle

Toronto, ON M5S 1J4


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There is growing recognition of the need to advance the social determinants of health as a question of human rights and social justice. But what do human rights norms, strategies, and actors offer in advancing discourse and practice around health equity? Join the Comparative Program on Health and Society as we bring together some of the world’s leading scholars and practitioners to explore these questions at an international symposium. We are honoured to begin the symposium in the evening of the 4th May with a keynote lecture by the incomparable Professor Amartya Sen (Harvard University) followed on 5 May by a full day conference.

Tickets are free but limited. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the symposium to registered attendees.

Keynote Lecture, May 4:

Image of Professor Amartya Sen

'Health and Human Rights'

Amartya Sen, Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University, USA
4 May 2017
Registration Opens: 18:20
Lecture: 19:00 to 20:30

Venue: JJR Macleod Auditorium, Medical Sciences Building, 1 King's College Circle

Please note that a separate ticket is required for the Keynote Lecture.

Symposium, May 5:

Venue: JRR Macleod Auditorium, 1 King's College Circle
Time: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Speakers include:

  • Sofia Gruskin, Director, Program on Global Health & Human Rights, Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine and Gould School of Law, University of Southern California, USA

  • Moses Mulumba, Executive Director, Center for Health, Human Rights, and Development, Uganda

  • Audrey Chapman, Professor, Community Medicine and Health Care, UConn Health Center Auxiliary/Joseph M. Healey, Jr. Chair in Medical Humanities and Bioethics, Division of Public Health Law & Ethics

  • Veronica Magar, Team Leader, Gender, Equity and Human Rights Mainstreaming Team, World Health Organisation, Switzerland

  • Kwame McKenzie, CEO, Wellesley Institute, Canada

  • Walter Flores, Director, Centro de Estudios para la Equidad y Gobernanza en Sistemas de Salud (Center for the Study of Equity and Governance in Health Systems), Guatemala

  • Suzanne Stewart, Director, Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada

  • Bruce Porter, Executive Director, Social Rights Advocacy Center, Canada

  • Octavio Luiz Motta Ferraz, Reader in Transnational Law, King's College London, United Kingdom

Thank you to our sponsors, the Lupina Foundation,the Canada Research Chair Program, and the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health for their generous support of this event.

Lupina Foundation logo Canada Research Chairs Logo

Logo for Dalla Lana School of Public Health


Who is organising this conference?

Professor Lisa Forman, director of the Comparative Program on Health and Society, Canada Research Chair in Human Rights and Global Health Equity, and assistant professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, is the lead organizer of this conference. Pragya Kaul, Program Coordinator at CPHS, is the lead coordinator. We are grateful to Professor Arjumand Siddiqi, Stephanie Nixon and Trudo Lemmens for their contributions, as well as a wonderful team of volunteers.

I want to attend the symposium but tickets are sold out. What should I do?

Due to higher than expected demand, tickets for the symposium are now sold out. While we work on making more seats available, please register for the symposium regardless. Upon doing so, you will be placed on a waitlist. Once more seats become available, a ticket will be released to you which you have to claim within 8 hours.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Keynote Lecture:

Closest subway station: Queen's Park
Streetcar: 506 to High Park


Closest subway station: Museum
Bus: 94 to Ossington Station

Parking on campus is not free, and is extremely limited. No reserved spaces are possible.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please direct any questions that you may have to Pragya Kaul at

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Please present a digital or printed copy of your ticket at the registration desk prior to entering the auditorium for both events.

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JJR Macleod Auditorium

1 King's College Circle

Toronto, ON M5S 1J4


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