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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Appellate Court Reinstates Abu Ghraib Torture Lawsuit Against Private Military Contractor

October 24, 2016

A panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a lawsuit  (Al Shimari v. CACI) brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of four Abu Ghraib torture victims against CACI Premier Technology, Inc., a private military contractor, for the corporation’s role in their inhumane treatment.... Read more about Appellate Court Reinstates Abu Ghraib Torture Lawsuit Against Private Military Contractor

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Latest Publications

AI Principle Proliferation as a Crisis of Legitimacy

Citation:

Mark Latonero. 9/30/2020. “AI Principle Proliferation as a Crisis of Legitimacy.” Carr Center Discussion Paper Series, 2020-011. See full text.
AI Principle Proliferation as a Crisis of Legitimacy

Abstract:

While Artificial Intelligence is a burgeoning field today, there is a growing concern about the mushrooming of proposed principles on how AI should be governed.

In his latest Carr Center discussion paper, fellow Mark Latonero posits that human rights could serve to stabilize AI governance, particularly if framed as an anchor to guide AI usage that could avert both everyday and catastrophic social harms.

Read the full document here. 

: Mark Latonero | Sept 30 2020
: While Artificial Intelligence is a burgeoning field today, there is a growing concern about the mushrooming of proposed principles on how AI should be governed.
Last updated on 10/05/2020

Defunding the Police Might Leave Americans More Surveilled and Less Secure

Defunding the Police Might Leave Americans More Surveilled and Less Secure

Full Text

Over the summer, while announcing the disbanding of a controversial plainclothes unit of the New York City Police Department after weeks of Black Lives Matter protests, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea referred to the need for “21st-century policing” that would use a range of technological tools—ShotSpotter (a sensor system that estimates the location of gunfire), video, DNA, and more—instead of “brute force.” Reliance on such technologies could become the norm as calls for police reform—in particular, the defunding of the police—take root around the country. However, making such changes without adequate public oversight could result in Black people being surveilled and controlled even further.

Read the article. 

: Sushma Raman | Aug 25 2020
: Technology in policing might appear more benign than rogue cops or racist judges, but a look at global trends gives pause.
Last updated on 04/13/2021

Dangerous Science: Might Population Genetics or Artificial Intelligence Undermine Philosophical Ideas about Equality?

Dangerous Science: Might Population Genetics or Artificial Intelligence Undermine Philosophical Ideas about Equality?

Abstract:

This paper was prepared for an interdisciplinary conference on Gefährliche Forschung? (Dangerous Science?) held at the University of Cologne in February 2020 and is scheduled to appear in a volume of contributions from that event edited by Wilfried Hinsch and Susanne Brandstätter, the organizers, and to be published by de Gruyter. The paper delves into the question proposed to me—might population genetics or artificial intelligence undermine philosophical ideas about equality—without locating the context of this debate or offering a preview of its contents. The first section discusses the ideal of equality, the next two talk about genetics in the context of responses to racism, and the remaining two speak about possible changes that might come from the development of general Artificial Intelligence.

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: Mathias Risse | Aug 17 2020
: Risse delves into the extent to which population genetics or artificial intelligence might undermine philosophical ideas about equality—both generally speaking and in the context of responses to racism.
Last updated on 08/16/2020
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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