This article supports the argument that legal services to enforce existing human rights protections are vital to improving child health and well-being and examines collaborations between medical clinics and legal advocates in the United States as a model for such partnerships worldwide. The article argues that "child health for low-income families cannot be meaningfully improved by relying on medical interventions alone" but rather must be addressed through medical-legal partnerships that protect children's legal rights as part of their health care. While child health professionals are in a unique position to identify the violations of human rights that lead to poor child health, they lack the capacity and expertise to intervene without assistance from the legal community. The article recommends medical-legal partnerships that train and educate health care workers on children's rights and how the legal system can be used to enforce these rights; direct legal assistance to patients in the clinical setting; and working with health care professional to eliminate practices that violate patient rights.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy challenges barriers to the rights and health of people affected by HIV through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks, and resources. We support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change that is rooted in racial, gender, and economic justice.