The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy serves as the hub of the Harvard Kennedy School’s research, teaching, and training in the human rights domain. The center embraces a dual mission: to educate students and the next generation of leaders from around the world in human rights policy and practice; and to convene and provide policy-relevant knowledge to international organizations, governments, policymakers, and businesses.

 

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Latest Publications

How the COVID-19 Era Will Change National Security Forever

How the COVID-19 Era Will Change National Security Forever

Abstract:

Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN shares her thoughts on structural changes needed in a "post-COVID" world. 

History shows us that seismic events have the potential to unite even politically divided Americans behind common cause. In the U.S., the COVID-19 pandemic has already taken more than seven times the number of lives as terrorists did in the 9/11 attacks, but the outpouring of solidarity Americans have shown for one another has so far not translated into more unity over government’s proper role at home or America’s proper role abroad. Indeed, the virus struck in an era of the most virulent polarization ever recorded—an unprecedented 82-percentage point divide between Republicans’ and Democrats’ average job-approval ratings of President Trump. And so far that gap appears only to be widening, while internationally, political leaders are trading recriminations rather than coordinating the procurement of medical supplies.

But the shared enemy of a future pandemic must bring about a redefinition of national security and generate long overdue increases of federal investments in domestic and global health security preparedness.

 

: Samantha Power | Apr 14 2020
: Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN shares her thoughts on structural changes needed in a "post-COVID" world. 
Last updated on 04/15/2020

The Fierce Urgency Of Now: Closing Glaring Gaps In US Surveillance Data On COVID-19

Citation:

Nancy Krieger, Gregg Gonsalves, Mary T. Bassett, William Hanage, and Harlan M. Krumholz. 4/14/2020. “The Fierce Urgency Of Now: Closing Glaring Gaps In US Surveillance Data On COVID-19.” Health Affairs . See full text.
The Fierce Urgency Of Now: Closing Glaring Gaps In US Surveillance Data On COVID-19

Abstract:

In order to have a robust understanding of the impacts of COVID-19, data on racial, economic, and gender inequities must be collected. 

It is insufficient to ask simply whether the virus is or is not present. Social data about who is infected are crucial for responding to needs now and will allow for better estimation of the likely spread and impact of COVID-19, the toll of which will be measured not only in deaths but also in the second-order, socially disparate spill-over effects on people’s economic well-being and safety. Real-time fast journalistic reporting and advocacy groups in the US and other countries are pointing to the critical importance of racial/ethnic, economic, and gender inequities to shaping COVID-19 risks. In the past week, calls for data on COVID-19 by race/ethnicity have been issued by leading politicians, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congresswoman Ayana Pressley, the Congressional Black Caucus, the National Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, and by journalists. Why aren’t the public health data documenting these risks available?

Read the full article. 

: Mary T. Bassett et al. | Apr 14 2020
: In order to have a robust understanding of the impacts of COVID-19, data on racial, economic, and gender inequities must be collected. 
Last updated on 05/05/2020

Upholding Non-Discrimination Principles in the Covid-19 Outbreak

Citation:

Jacqueline Bhabha, Laura Cordisco-Tsai, Teresa Hodge, and Laurin Leonard. 4/10/2020. “Upholding Non-Discrimination Principles in the Covid-19 Outbreak.” Carr Center Covid-19 Discussion Paper Series, 03. See full text.
Upholding Non-Discrimination Principles in the Covid-19 Outbreak

Abstract:

Carr Center faculty and fellows discuss how we can employ principles of non-discrimination to address the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on our most vulnerable communities.

In our third Covid-19 Discussion Paper, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Jacqueline Bhabha; Technology and Human Rights Fellows Laurin Leonard and Teresa Hodge; and Carr Center Fellow, Laura Cordisco-Tsai, outline how Covid-19 disproportionately impacts the world's most vulnerable communities. From prison populations to survivors of human trafficking, "Vulnerable communities often are not positioned to ensure their human rights are preserved in times of a crisis—they are often a historical afterthought."

Read the full text here. 

: Carr Center | Apr 10 2020
: Employing principles of non-discrimination to address the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on the world's most vulnerable.
Last updated on 04/17/2020
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“The Carr Center is building a bridge between ideas on human rights and the practice on the ground. Right now we are at a critical juncture. The pace of technological change and the rise of authoritarian governments are both examples of serious challenges to the flourishing of individual rights. It’s crucial that Harvard and the Kennedy School continue to be a major influence in keeping human rights ideals alive. The Carr Center is a focal point for this important task.”

 

- Mathias Risse