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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Harvard University Human Rights Centers Condemn Recent Police Violence in the United States

May 29, 2020

The Carr Center, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, FXB Center, Hutchins Center, and International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School denounce the vicious murder of George Floyd and other recent acts of racism in the U.S. ... Read more about Harvard University Human Rights Centers Condemn Recent Police Violence in the United States

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Latest Publications

Black Lives Matter protesters were overwhelmingly peaceful, our research finds

Citation:

Erica Chenoweth and Jeremy Pressman. 10/20/2020. “Black Lives Matter protesters were overwhelmingly peaceful, our research finds.” The Spokesman Review. Read the article.
Black Lives Matter protesters were overwhelmingly peaceful, our research finds

Abstract:

When the Department of Homeland Security released its Homeland Threat Assessment earlier this month, it emphasized that self-proclaimed white supremacist groups are the most dangerous threat to U.S. security. But the report misleadingly added that there had been “over 100 days of violence and destruction in our cities,” referring to the anti-racism uprisings of this past summer.

In fact, the Black Lives Matter uprisings were remarkably nonviolent. When there was violence, very often police or counterprotesters were reportedly directing it at the protesters.

Read the article. 

: Erica Chenoweth et al. | Oct 20 2020
: Research shows the Black Lives Matters protests were extraordinarily nonviolent, and extraordinarily nondestructive, given the unprecedented size of the movement’s participation and geographic scope.

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
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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