Faculty & Staff

Gillian MacNaughton, JD, DPhil

Assistant Professor of Public Policy of Excluded Populations, School for Global Inclusion and Social Development


photo of Gillian MacNaughton

Areas of Expertise

International economic and social rights, the right to health, equality and nondiscrimination, human rights impact assessment and indicators


DPhil, Law, University of Oxford
MSt, International Human Rights Law, University of Oxford
MPA, Harvard University
JD, Vermont Law School
BEd, McGill University

Additional Information

Gillian MacNaughton is an assistant professor in the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development (SGISD) and a senior fellow with the Center for Peace, Democracy and Development in the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. She is also an affiliate of the Research Program on Economic and Social Rights in the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut.

MacNaughton is an international human rights lawyer who works on economic and social rights, particularly the rights to health, education, and decent work, and their relationship to equality rights. She is also involved in developing human rights-based methodology and tools, including human rights impact assessment and indicators.

Prior to joining SGISD, MacNaughton served as the executive director of the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy at Northeastern University School of Law, and as a senior research officer at the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, UK. She has taught international human rights courses for the European Regional Master's Program in Human Rights and Democratization at the University of Sarajevo; the Master's Program in Sustainable International Development at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University; and the Summer School in International Human Rights Law and several colleges at the University of Oxford. 

In addition, MacNaughton has consulted on human rights projects for the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, governments, and nongovernmental organizations. She is a member of the Vermont Bar.

Selected Publications

MacNaughton, G. (2018). Promotion and protection of the right to health by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Global Health Governance, 12(1), 47-61. Special issue on human rights in global health governance.

MacNaughton, G., & McGill, M. (2018). The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Mapping the evolution of the right to health. In B. Meier & L. Gostin (Eds.), Human rights in global health: Right-based governance for a globalizing world (pp. 463-485). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Scanlon, M., MacNaughton, G., & Sprague, C. (2017). Neglected population, neglected rights? Advancing human rights to improve treatment for children living with HIV. Health & Human Rights Journal, 19(2), 169-181.

MacNaughton, G. (2017). Vertical inequalities: Are the SDGs and human rights up to the challenges? International Journal of Human Rights, special issue on Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals, 21(8): 1050-1072.

Qiu, S. & MacNaughton, G. (2017). Mechanisms of accountability for the realization of the right to health in China. Health and Human Rights Journal, 19(1).

MacNaughton, G. & Koutsioumpas, K. (2017). Universal human rights education for the post-2015 development agenda. In J. Zajda & S. Ozdowski (eds), Globalisation, Human Rights Education and Reforms (pp. 15-33). Springer Academic Publishers.

MacNaughton, G. (2016). Advancing health and human rights in this neoliberal era. Book review: Global health, human rights and the challenge of neoliberal policies, by Audrey R. Chapman. Health and Human Rights Journal, 18(2), 255-259.

Frey, D. F. & MacNaughton, G. (2016). Full employment and decent work in the post-2015 development agenda. In N. Shawki (ed), International norms, normative change, and the Sustainable Development Goals (pp. 185-199). Plymouth, UK: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Frey, D. F. & MacNaughton, G. (2016). A human rights lens on full employment and decent work in the 2030 sustainable development agenda. Journal of Workplace Rights, 6(2), 1-13.

McGill, M. & MacNaughton, G. (2016). The struggle to achieve the human right to health care in the USA. Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, 25, 625-684.

MacNaughton, G., & Frey, D. F. (2016). Decent work, human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals. Georgetown Journal of International Law, 47, 607-663.

Forman, L. & MacNaughton, G. (2016). Lessons learned: A framework methodology for health and human rights impact assessment of intellectual property provisions in trade agreements. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 34(1), 55-71.

MacNaughton, G., Haigh, F., McGill, M., Koutsioumpas, K., & Sprague, C. (2015). The impact of human rights on universalizing health care in Vermont, USA. Health and Human Rights Journal, 17(2), 83-95. Special issue: Evidence of impacts of human rights-based approaches to health.

MacNaughton, G., & Frey, D. F. (2015). Teaching the transformative agenda of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Radical Teacher, 103, 17-25.

MacNaughton, G. (2015). Human rights education for all: A proposal for the post-2015 international development agenda. Washington International Law Journal, 24(3), 537-569.

MacNaughton, G. (2015). Human rights impact assessment: A method for healthy policy making. Health and Human Rights Journal, 17(1), 63-75.

MacNaughton, G., & Forman, L. (2015). Human rights and health impact assessment of trade-related intellectual property rights: A comparative study of experiences in Thailand and Peru. Journal of Human Rights, 14(1), 124-148.

Forman, L., & MacNaughton, G. (2015). Moving theory into practice: Human rights impact assessment of intellectual property rights in trade agreements. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 7(1), 109-138.

MacNaughton, G. (2013). Beyond a minimum threshold: The right to social equality. In L. Minkler (Ed.), The state of economic and social human rights: A global overview (pp. 271-305). Cambridge University Press, UK.

MacNaughton, G., & McGill, M. (2012). Economic and social rights in the United States: Implementation without ratification. Northeastern University Law Journal, 4(2), 365-406.

MacNaughton, G., & Hunt, P. (2012). A human rights-based approach to social impact assessment. In F. Vanclay & A. Esteves (Eds.), New directions in social impact assessment: Conceptual and methodological advances. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, U.K.

MacNaughton, G., & Frey, D. F. (2011). Decent work for all: A holistic human rights approach. American University International Law Review, 26, 441-483.

MacNaughton, G. (2011). Healthcare systems and equality rights. Equal Rights Review, 6, 61-82.

Additional publications by MacNaughton