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1.  Measuring the health impact of human rights violations related to Australian asylum policies and practices: a mixed methods study 
Background
Human rights violations have adverse consequences for health. However, to date, there remains little empirical evidence documenting this association, beyond the obvious physical and psychological effects of torture. The primary aim of this study was to investigate whether Australian asylum policies and practices, which arguably violate human rights, are associated with adverse health outcomes.
Methods
We designed a mixed methods study to address the study aim. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 71 Iraqi Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) refugees and 60 Iraqi Permanent Humanitarian Visa (PHV) refugees, residing in Melbourne, Australia. Prior to a recent policy amendment, TPV refugees were only given temporary residency status and had restricted access to a range of government funded benefits and services that permanent refugees are automatically entitled to. The quantitative results were triangulated with semi-structured interviews with TPV refugees and service providers. The main outcome measures were self-reported physical and psychological health. Standardised self-report instruments, validated in an Arabic population, were used to measure health and wellbeing outcomes.
Results
Forty-six percent of TPV refugees compared with 25% of PHV refugees reported symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of clinical depression (p = 0.003). After controlling for the effects of age, gender and marital status, TPV status made a statistically significant contribution to psychological distress (B = 0.5, 95% CI 0.3 to 0.71, p ≤ 0.001) amongst Iraqi refugees. Qualitative data revealed that TPV refugees generally felt socially isolated and lacking in control over their life circumstances, because of their experiences in detention and on a temporary visa. This sense of powerlessness and, for some, an implicit awareness they were being denied basic human rights, culminated in a strong sense of injustice.
Conclusion
Government asylum policies and practices violating human rights norms are associated with demonstrable psychological health impacts. This link between policy, rights violations and health outcomes offers a framework for addressing the impact of socio-political structures on health.
doi:10.1186/1472-698X-9-1
PMCID: PMC2649030  PMID: 19192307
2.  Structure, (governance) and health: an unsolicited response 
Background
In a recently published article, it was suggested that governance was the significant structural factor affecting the epidemiology of HIV. This suggestion was made notwithstanding the observed weak correlation between governance and HIV prevalence (r = .2). Unfortunately, the paper raised but left unexamined the potentially more important questions about the relationship between the broader health of populations and structural factors such as the national economy and physical infrastructure.
Methods
Utilizing substantially the same data sources as the original article, the relationship between population health (healthy life expectancy) and three structural factors (access to improved water, GDP per capita, and governance) were examined in each of 176 countries.
Results
Governance was found to be significantly correlated with population health, as were GDP per capita, and access to improved water. They were also found to be significantly correlated with each other.
Conclusion
The findings are discussed with reference to the growing interest in structural factors as an explanation for population health outcomes, and the relatively weak relationship between governance and HIV prevalence.
doi:10.1186/1472-698X-6-12
PMCID: PMC1584251  PMID: 16978401

Results 1-2 (2)