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

Critical Skill for Nonprofits in the Digital Age: Technical Intuition

Critical Skill for Nonprofits in the Digital Age: Technical Intuition

Abstract:

Not everyone needs to become a tech expert, but all activists and nonprofit leaders must develop skills to inquire about, decide on, and demand technological change. Tech Fellow Alix Dunn talks to Stanford's Social Innovation Podcast. 

In a world where the pace of organizational learning is often slower than the pace of technological change, activists and nonprofit leaders must develop their “technical intuition.” Not everyone needs to become a tech expert, explains Alix Dunn, of the consulting firm Computer Says Maybe, but this ongoing process of imagining, inquiring about, deciding on, and demanding technological change is critical.

In this recording from the Stanford Social Innovation Review's 2019 Data on Purpose conference, Dunn walks through her guidelines to help anyone to develop these skills.

: Alix Dunn | May 7 2019
: Not everyone needs to become a tech expert, but all activists and nonprofit leaders must develop skills to inquire about, decide on, and demand technological change.
Last updated on 02/03/2020

The Future Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Humans and Human Rights

Citation:

Steven Livingston and Mathias Risse. 6/7/2019. “The Future Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Humans and Human Rights.” Ethics and International Affairs, 33, 2, Pp. 141-158. See full text.
The Future Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Humans and Human Rights

Abstract:

What are the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) on human rights in the next three decades?

Precise answers to this question are made difficult by the rapid rate of innovation in AI research and by the effects of human practices on the adaption of new technologies. Precise answers are also challenged by imprecise usages of the term “AI.” There are several types of research that all fall under this general term. We begin by clarifying what we mean by AI. Most of our attention is then focused on the implications of artificial general intelligence (AGI), which entail that an algorithm or group of algorithms will achieve something like superintelligence. While acknowledging that the feasibility of superintelligence is contested, we consider the moral and ethical implications of such a potential development. What do machines owe humans and what do humans owe superintelligent machines?

Read the full article here

: Mathias Risse et al. | Jun 7 2019
: What are the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) on human rights in the next three decades?
Last updated on 01/30/2020

Digital Identity in the Migration & Refugee Context: Italy Case Study

Citation:

Mark Latonero, Keith Hiatt, Antonella Napolitano, Giulia Clericetti, and Melanie Penagos. 4/2019. Digital Identity in the Migration & Refugee Context: Italy Case Study. Data & Society. Data & Society. See full text.
Digital Identity in the Migration & Refugee Context: Italy Case Study

Abstract:

New Report by Carr Center Technology and Human Rights Fellow Mark Latonero.

"Increasingly, governments, corporations, international organizations, and nongov-ernmental organizations (NGOs) are seeking to use digital technologies to track the identities of migrants and refugees. This surging interest in digital identity technologies would seem to meet a pressing need: the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) states that in today’s modern world, lacking proof of identity can limit a person’s access to services and socio-economic participation, including employment opportunities, housing, a mobile phone, and a bank account. But this report argues that the tech-nologies and processes involved in digital identity will not provide easy solutions in the migration and refugee context. Technologies that rely on identity data introduce a new sociotechnical layer that may exacerbate existing biases, discrimination, or power imbalances.How can we weigh the added value of digital identification systems against the potential risks and harms to migrant safety and fundamental human rights? This report provides international organizations, policymakers, civil society, technologists, and funders with a deeper background on what we currently know about digital identity and how migrant identity data is situated in the Italian context. "
: Mark Latonero et al. | Apr 2019
: Increasingly, governments, corporations, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are seeking to use digital technologies to track the identities of migrants and refugees.
Last updated on 02/03/2020
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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