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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Latest Publications

Privacy, Personal Data, and Surveillance

Citation:

John Shattuck and Mathias Risse. 2/26/2021. “Privacy, Personal Data, and Surveillance.” Reimagining Rights and Responsibilities in the United States, 016. See full text.
Privacy, Personal Data, and Surveillance

Abstract:

Privacy has always been one of the most precarious rights of American life because it lacks clear protections in the U.S. Constitution. The right to privacy is under attack in this moment in our history like no other previous moment. Privacy defenders are attempting to fight a two-front war, as increasing incursions are made by private industry and government law enforcement.

Read the paper. 

See the full Reimagining Rights and Responsibilities Series.

: John Shattuck and Mathias Risse | Feb 26 2021
: Privacy has always been one of the most precarious rights of American life because it lacks clear protections in the U.S. Constitution.
Last updated on 02/26/2021

Hate Crimes

Citation:

John Shattuck and Mathias Risse. 2/22/2021. “Hate Crimes.” Reimagining Rights and Responsibilities in the United States, 015. See full text.
Hate Crimes

Abstract:

The Department of Justice began prosecuting federal hate crimes cases after the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Thus, the literature on hate crime is new, though rapidly growing. The first American use of the term “hate crime” emerged during the Civil Rights Movement in the second half of the 20th century.  The term typically refers to bias-motivated violence. But the variation in hate crimes laws and data collection policies per state has created disparities in protection against hate crimes, which leaves people vulnerable depending on where they live. Without proper hate crime statutes and data collection, it is difficult to know the true nature and magnitude of the problem of hate crimes in the United States. In order to allocate resources and deter future hate crimes, law enforcement agencies need to understand the problem at hand. 

Read the paper. 

See all issues of the Reimagining Rights and Responsibilities Series. 

: John Shattuck and Mathias Risse | Feb 22 2021
: Without proper hate crime statutes and data collection, it is difficult to know the true nature and magnitude of the problem of hate crimes in the United States.

Religious Freedom

Citation:

John Shattuck and Mathias Risse. 2/19/2021. “Religious Freedom.” Reimagining Rights and Responsibilities in the United States, 014. Read full text.
Religious Freedom

Abstract:

The complicated relationship of religion and government predates the founding of the United States. The Founders grappled with this dilemma for years before compromising on the final language of the First Amendment. Even then, the issue was far from settled: the US has struggled since its founding to reconcile the right of religious freedom with the reality of governing a pluralist democracy with an increasingly diverse population. 


Today, a struggle over the scope of religious freedom is taking place in politics, the courts, and across American society. Claims of religious freedom are increasingly receiving preferential treatment in both political discourse and in the courts when religious beliefs come into conflict with other rights. That is particularly true for women’s reproductive rights and the rights of individuals to non-discrimination on the basis of their sexual identity. 


At the same time, a controversy has emerged over the meaning of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, in which recent Supreme Court cases have pitted the prohibition on establishment of religion against the right of religious free exercise. The central question over religious rights today is how to strike an appropriate balance between rights when they come into conflict. This question has troubled the American Republic since its formation.
 

Read the full paper. 

: John Shattuck and Mathias Risse | Feb 19 2021
: Today, a struggle over the scope of religious freedom is taking place in politics, the courts, and across American society.
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Upcoming Events

2021 Mar 05

Social Justice Leaders Series led by Dr. Keisha N. Blain

1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

This webinar series, curated by Carr Center Fellow Keisha N. Blain, will feature social justice leaders working at the local, national, and international level. The series will highlight the work of leaders of color who are actively challenging racism and advancing human rights.

Panelists:

  • Deborah D. Douglas | Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism, DePauw University; senior leader, The OpEd Project
  • Dr. Keisha N. Blain (Moderator) | Associate Professor of...
Read more about Social Justice Leaders Series led by Dr. Keisha N. Blain

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2021 Mar 08

Digital Witnesses: Ethical Challenges in Online Human Rights Investigations

3:00pm to 4:00pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

Towards Life 3.0: Ethics and Technology in the 21st Century is a talk series organized and facilitated by Mathias Risse, Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Administration. Drawing inspiration from the title of Max Tegmark’s book, Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, the series draws upon a range of scholars, technology leaders, and public interest technologists to address the ethical aspects of the long-term impact of artificial intelligence on society and human life.

...

Read more about Digital Witnesses: Ethical Challenges in Online Human Rights Investigations

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2021 Mar 19

Indigenous Women Convening for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation

9:30am to 1:00pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

Join us for our Indigenous Women Convening for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation. The Indigenous Women Convening on Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation brings together Indigenous scholars and women leaders from seven indigenous socio-cultural zones of the world to share stories of war and conflicts in their territories and find collective ways of ideating indigenous conflict resolution and peace-making processes. 

This event is organized by the Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, Rights, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, the Scholars at Risk Program, and...

Read more about Indigenous Women Convening for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation

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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