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.

 

News and Announcements

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Study Group: Data Trusts | An Ethical Pathway to Protect the Human Rights of People Living with Criminal Convictions Impacted by Background Screening?

February 14, 2020

The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy invites you to join a study group on the urgent need to establish a human rights framework in criminal justice reform, which addresses mass incarceration in America.... Read more about Study Group: Data Trusts | An Ethical Pathway to Protect the Human Rights of People Living with Criminal Convictions Impacted by Background Screening?

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Latest Publications

Documentation as Resistance Against Widespread Civilian Harm in Yemen

Documentation as Resistance Against Widespread Civilian Harm in Yemen

Abstract:

 

The efforts by Yemeni civil society to document the harms of the war as they occur are a powerful act of resistance and are critical to advancing justice for the Yemenis against whom these harms have been perpetrated, in whatever form that justice may ultimately take.

 

The Yemeni Civil War broke out in 2014 following a failed political transition in the aftermath of the 2011 Yemeni Revolution. The Revolution had resulted in the ouster of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had ruled North Yemen and—after North and South Yemen joined—the Republic of Yemen, for more than three decades. However, several groups—including the Houthi movement in northern Yemen—opposed the new government that had formed under Saleh’s former vice president, now current President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. The Houthis attacked and took over the Yemeni capital of Sana’a in the fall of 2014, and several months later, Saudi Arabia responded with a military intervention to re-install the Hadi government, resulting in the civil war that continues to devastate Yemen today.

Since then, it has been deemed the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world.” Though the Hadi-led Yemeni government and the Houthi-led insurgency are the central parties to the conflict, more than a dozen countries have provided support to one of the sides. Most importantly, a Saudi-led coalition of countries (the “Saudi Led Coalition”), including the U.S., is backing the government, while Iran is providing support to the Houthis. The respective resources of the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other countries have contributed to the high rate of civilian casualties, the millions of people at risk of starvation, and the widespread violations of International Human Rights Law (IHRL) and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in the Yemeni conflict. In spite of this, no party to the conflict has transparently addressed the number of civilian casualties, nor the broader violations of IHL and IHRL, resulting from their operations, and have instead denied their role in the harms being perpetrated against Yemeni civilians.

Read the full paper. 

: Niku Jafarnia | March 12 2021
: The efforts by Yemeni civil society to document the harms of the war as they occur are a powerful act of resistance and are critical to advancing justice for the Yemenis against whom these harms have been perpetrated.
Last updated on 03/12/2021

How To Save The Amazon: The Reasons Why a Living Forest is Worth More than a Cut-Down One

Citation:

Luís Roberto Barroso and Patrícia Perrone Campos Mello. 3/10/2021. “How To Save The Amazon: The Reasons Why a Living Forest is Worth More than a Cut-Down One.” Carr Center Discussion Paper Series, 2021-011. See full text.
How To Save The Amazon: The Reasons Why a  Living Forest is Worth More than a Cut-Down One

Abstract:

This paper highlights the importance of the Amazon for the global ecosystem, the retreat and the advance of deforestation in the area located within Brazilian territory, as well as the rising trend of environmental crimes, with special attention afforded to illegal logging, land grabbing and unauthorized mining activities, including in indigenous reserves. The article enumerates the governmental public policies that were successful in containing the destruction of the forest, and the setbacks they have suffered in recent times. The final part describes the forest exploitation models adopted thus far, which have had limited economic and social impact, and presents an alternative, currently under discussion, which combines the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the forest’s bioeconomy. The text also identifies contributions that international stakeholders can offer to forest conservation efforts, such as financing mechanisms (REDD+) and sustainability certification requirements by markets that consume Brazilian exports and by financial institutions when evaluating companies who develop activities in Brazil’s Legal Amazon (BLA).

Read the paper. 

: Luís Roberto Barroso et al | March 10 2021
: Since the 1970s, there has been a fundamental duality in the debate concerning the treatment of the rainforest: the advocates of economic development, on one side, and the environmentalists, on the other.

International Womxn’s Day

International Womxn’s Day

Abstract:

In recognition of International Womxn’s Day this year, we spoke with faculty and fellows across the center and asked them to share their insight on one question: What do we need to focus on in the coming year to fully realize the rights of womxn and girls around the world? Learn what they had to say. 
: Carr Center | March 8 2021
: What do we need to focus on in the coming year to fully realize the rights of womxn and girls around the world? Here’s what Carr Center faculty and fellows had to say.
Last updated on 03/08/2021
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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