The Queen’s Health and Human Rights Conference (HHRC) is an annual event that is entering its 20th year as of 2020-2021. HHRC aims to provide students and community members with the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary conversations about health topics from a human right lens with multidisciplinary perspectives. Wholly student-organized, the conference attracts a diverse audience of fellow students from the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels, as well as community members and even students from other universities across Canada. Over the last 19 years, HHRC has welcomed activists, academics, front-line workers, and many others to the stage to challenge and encourage participants to consider health and human rights more deeply.
Every year, the theme of HHRC has been chosen based on timely and pertinent discourses occurring in the global world. Past themes have included health and environmentalism, income security, refugee health, and pharmaceuticals. Despite the variety of topics, HHRC always ultimately reinforces the deep-seated intersections between health states, policies, and practices and human rights. Looking forward, Queen’s HHRC aspires to continue facilitating these conversations in both local and global contexts and to develop new and innovative approaches to discussing and understanding our contemporary world.
The Health and Human Rights Conference (HHRC) aims to educate students and community members on topics pertaining to health through a human rights perspective, in a way that respects the multidimensionality and intersectionality of the topics themselves. The goal of HHRC is to challenge participants to appreciate the complexity of health and human rights issues and to integrate these perspectives in their current and future work.
We hope to shift the language of the conversations surrounding these issues from their traditional academic roots to language that is more reflective of front-line experiences. We hope to make HHRC accessible in all respects, from attendance, to travel, to venue.
We prioritize the inclusion of racial, socioeconomic, gender-based, sexual, and other diverse groups in the space created by HHRC. We are also cognizant of the power involved in providing a podium for speakers to speak. We aspire to create spaces that honour the voices and lives of those frequently marginalized in traditionally-academic conference events.
We hope to ground HHRC more deeply in the local Kingston community by supporting local community partners, engaging community members, and creating spaces for mutual interaction and conversation.