Mariah McGill is the Assistant Director of the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) at Northeastern University School of Law. Mariah assists with PHRGE's domestic programs. In particular, she was Institute Coordinator for a two-day Institute, Beyond National Security: Immigrant Communities and Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, held October 14-16, 2010. The institute brought together scholars and advocates to address issues faced by immigrant communities including the right to work, the rights to living wages and to just and favorable conditions of work, the right to education and the right to health care, as well as issues of alienage and documentation.

Mariah has performed extensive research on Vermont's efforts to implement a universal healthcare system based on human rights principles as well as "right to health" initiatives in other states.  She presented her research on Human Rights Day, December 10th, 2010, on a panel at Northeastern University School of Law and has authored multiple articles on this topic.

On March 28, 2011 Mariah moderated a PHRGE-sponsored panel on the right to education, which explored a variety of educational issues from a human rights perspective.  Mariah is currently exploring the human rights implications of the charter schools movement in the United States.

Mariah graduated from Sweet Briar College with a degree in International Affairs in 2002 and received her JD from Northeastern University School of Law in 2009. Mariah's human rights and public interest experience includes legal internships at the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and the United States District Court for the District of Vermont. Mariah is licensed to practice in Massachusetts and Vermont and has served as an administrative law judge for the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Prior to attending law school, Mariah worked as an early childhood educator and affordable housing advocate in rural Vermont. Mariah is particularly interested in protecting and advancing the rights of children.

Recent Publications  

  • “Human Rights from the Grassroots Up: Vermont’s Campaign for Universal Health Care”, Health and Human Rights: An International Journal (forthcoming).
  • "The Human Right to Health Care in the State of Vermont" Vermont Bar Journal, (Summer 2011). View Article
  • "If the Grassroots Lead, The Government Will Follow: Lessons From the Vermont Campaign for Universal Health Care" 11 ESR Review 8 (2011). View Article
  • “Everybody In, Nobody Out: Vermont’s New Plan for Universal Health care”   45 Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty Law and Policy 208 (2011)
  •  Vermont Health Campaign Success, IntLawGrrls, May 8, 2011. This blog post provides an update on the Vermont Campaign and explains the historic universal health care legislation recently passed by the Vermont Legislature. 
  •  Vermont Reform and the Human Right to Health, IntLawGrrls  February 19, 2011. This blog post explains the human rights principles underlying Vermont's efforts to enact a universal healthcare system.  In addition, it contains information about the three universal healthcare system models proposed by an independent expert hired by the State of Vermont.
  • "Using Human Rights to Move Beyond the Politically Possible" 44 Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty Law and Policy 459 (2011) May 2010, the Vermont Legislature passed Act 128 which declared healthcare to be a "public good" for all Vermonters, established a commission charged with hiring an independent consultant to develop three universal healthcare models and required that any universal healthcare system adopted by Vermont incorporate key human rights principles.  The passage of Act 128 was the result of a two-year grassroots campaign for universal healthcare led by the Vermont Workers' Center.  Previously, healthcare activists had been told by Vermont legislators that universal healthcare was "not politically possible."  The Workers' Center's "Healthcare is a Human Right" campaign focused on organizing and mobilizing ordinary Vermonters to change what was politically possible.  By focusing on the idea of healthcare as a human right, the Campaign was able to convince thousands of Vermonters, many of whom had not previously been involved in a political campaign, to demand that their legislators enact a system of universal healthcare.  This article discusses the "Healthcare is a Human Right" campaign.

Recent Presentations

  • "The Vermont Workers' Center Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign", PHRGE Showcase Panel, December 10, 2010, Northeastern University School of Law. In celebration of Human Rights Day, PHRGE hosted a panel showcasing the variety of work PHRGE staff, fellows, work-study students and faculty were doing. Mariah's presentation focused on the Vermont Workers' Center's grassroots campaign for universal healthcare.
  • “Realizing the Right to Education at Home and Abroad”, March 28, 2011. This panel discussion explored how school discipline, school financing inequities and other issues contribute to school exclusion and how to use human rights principles to address these problems. Panelists included: Molly A. Hunter, Education Law Center; Marlies Spanjaard, Coordinator of the EdLaw Project; Daniel Squires, Matrix Barristers, United Kingdom; and Liz Sullivan, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative. Moderated by Mariah McGill.
  • “An Introduction to the Boston Principles on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of Noncitizens”, June 21, 2011. This online discussion was hosted by PHRGE and featured Professors Hope Lewis and Rachel Rosenbloom and was moderated by Mariah McGill.