CALL FOR ESSAYS. A Human-Centered Approach to Health Innovations: Reconciling Intellectual Property with Human Rights

We invite activists, academics, policymakers, industry representatives, health professionals and other practitioners to contribute to an edited open-access volume advancing a human-centered approach to health innovations. By exploring how this approach can alleviate or resolve problematic trade-offs in the health and pharmaceutical fields, we hope to enrich the human rights debate and to formulate new innovation models and practices that would better realize the right to health and other relevant human rights. Selected contributors will be invited to present their essays at a hybrid workshop in New Haven, Connecticut, on 28–30 October 2022. The event will be organized jointly by Yale’s Global Justice Program and the Center for Law and Intellectual Property at Texas A&M University.

Contributions should address any aspect of the following subtopics:

I.    Taking a human-centered approach, how can intellectual property law and policy be redesigned to better realize the right to health and other relevant human rights?

II.   In what concrete ways can we make the current proprietary models and innovation practices in the health and pharmaceutical fields more human-centered?

III.  How can we design an accountability framework to promote a human-centered approach to intellectual property policymaking?

The human rights most pertinent to this book project are the right to life, right to health, right to science, right to food and right to education. Relevant human rights instruments include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; regional human rights instruments, such as the European Social Charter, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; as well as domestic constitutions and laws. We also welcome discussions on human rights grounded in moral philosophy. Intellectual property instruments encompass the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organization, treaties administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization, TRIPS-plus bilateral, regional and plurilateral trade and investment agreements, and domestic and regional intellectual property laws.

To be considered for the workshop and book project, please send an abstract of up to 300 words to by 30 June 2022. Invitations to develop a full essay will be issued on a rolling basis by 18 July 2022. Invited authors should then submit a draft of up to 7000 words (including notes) to by 31 August 2022. Notifications of acceptance and workshop invitations will be issued by 19 September 2022. For questions, contact any of us - Lisa Biersay, Thomas Pogge and Peter Yu - at