London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Human rights, poverty and inequality

HRSJ is currently developing its research interest in the connections between human rights, poverty and inequality and the legal, policy and political tools that are used to implement and enforce socio-economic rights.     

This research interest builds on previous HRSJ research projects concerned with the right to health. This research was multi-disciplinary, crossing the fields of social science theory, applied social sciences, human rights and law, medical sciences, the built environment, philosophy and religion. The research projects promoted adherence to all the major human rights conventions relating to health rights. Much of this work was conducted in collaboration with the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences (FASS) at London Metropolitan University and was supported and led by Professor Eileen O’Keefe. Other HRSJ Associates whose work is centrally concerned with the right to health are Martha Chinouya and our Honorary Scholar Janet Rudge


HRSJ conducted research, funded by the Nuffield Foundation and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), concerned with the well-being of Sub-Saharan Africans affected by the HIV virus, both in the UK and in Africa. This research investigated Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe, Zimbabweans living in the UK and the trans-national linkages of families between Zimbabwe and the UK. It explored the effects on well-being and care within "trans-national" family relations; the disclosure of HIV-AIDS between sexual partners and family members; the role of faith and the church in support of HIV-AIDS alleviation (and the church’s role in the disclosure process); care-giving to children affected by the HIV-AIDS epidemic; the role of women and their understanding of HIV-AIDS; and the role of religion within the African community and with those affected by HIV-AIDS.  

User Involvement in Health

This research examined the events that led to the abolition of community health councils and setting up of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health by examining documentation and interviewing key actors in the events. It was funded by the ESRC and carried out by HRSJ Associate Christine Hogg.  It explored the barriers to local views being heard at the national level; the conceptual terrain underlying the debate, and the complexity of bringing about change in health organisations.  It examined national policies on patient and public involvement in the NHS from 1974-2004, and related this to contemporary debates on civil renewal, active citizenship and social inclusion. See HRSJ’s Annual Report 2006-2007  for more details.

Fuel Poverty: Domestic Energy, Efficiency and Health

This research, funded by the ESRC was concerned with housing and affordable warmth.  Fuel poverty is defined as the inability to afford adequate warmth and occurs among low-income households living in homes that are difficult to heat due to poor energy efficiency. Older people are the largest group suffering fuel poverty in the UK and are among the most vulnerable to health effects of cold indoor temperatures. The research demonstrated that a proposed Index of Fuel Poverty Risk was a predictor of excess winter hospital admissions among older people in the London borough of Newham. The project also obtained stakeholders’ views on the potential of this Index to influence local action and policy on energy efficiency investment to benefit health. See HRSJ’s Annual Report 2006-2007 for more details.The range of publications produced illustrates the multi-disciplinary audience for this work. They include: an academic paper in the Journal of Public Health, an article in the journal of National Energy Action, a UK energy NGO, international conference presentations at the Windsor Conference on Comfort and Energy Use in Buildings, the Healthy Buildings Conference in Lisbon  and the International Conference on Environmental Epidemiology and Exposure in Paris.  As a result of the presentation at the Healthy Buildings Conference, the HRSJ has participated in the project on the Burden of Disease of Inadequate Housing for the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health.

Human Rights: Health Policy and Law

Research at the HRSJ Institute is concerned with the inequalities in health in London as a world city and the management of community health services within the framework set by the WHO European Strategy. Publications and research contributions are focusing on health and globalisation, health impact assessments and human rights, community development with housebound elderly, and the mental wellbeing of children.


   Company Information    Page last updated 30 August 2013     Contact Page Owner (Aruna Dudhia)