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

The Ethics of Surveillance Technology during a Global Pandemic

Citation:

Vivek Krishnamurthy, Bruce Schneier, and Mathias Risse. 4/2/2020. “The Ethics of Surveillance Technology during a Global Pandemic.” Carr Center Covid-19 Discussion Paper Series, 2. See full text.
The Ethics of Surveillance Technology during a Global Pandemic

Abstract:

Three experts on cyberlaw, security, and AI discuss how governments and businesses might ethically employ surveillance and AI technologies to address Covid-19.

We interviewed Bruce Schneier, Security Technologist and Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Carr Center Fellow Vivek Krishnamurthy, and Carr Center Faculty Director Mathias Risse on the ethics and responsibilities of using AI and surveillance technology amidst a global pandemic. 

Read their full discussion, here

 
 
: Carr Center | Apr 4 2020
: Three experts discuss how to ethically employ surveillance and AI technologies to address Covid-19.
Last updated on 04/13/2020

“May You Rise to It”: A Love Letter to Students in an Unprecedented Time

“May You Rise to It”: A Love Letter to Students in an Unprecedented Time

Abstract:

In a letter to his students, Timothy McCarthy calls for a serious commitment to compassion.

My dear students,
Let me say this first: I love you — and I hope all of you are somewhere safe right now.
I know this doesn’t find any of us well. This global pandemic has profoundly upended our lives and livelihoods and routines and responsibilities, to say nothing of our capacity to work and dream together to build a better world. The corona crisis has catapulted us into complete chaos, accompanied by a disorienting mix of emotions: fear and despair, anxiety and anger, uncertainty and longing, concern and compassion. If you are like me, you’re experiencing all these things at once on any given day. As one friend put it: “I didn’t realize I could have so many mood swings before my first cup of coffee.” As a historian, I rarely use the word unprecedented — after all, almost everything has some kind of precedent — but I dusted it off last week and have been using it more and more with each passing day. History will have time to take full account of this moment, but first we must survive it.

: Timothy McCarthy | Mar 30 2020
: In a letter to his students, Timothy McCarthy calls for a serious commitment to compassion.
Last updated on 04/13/2020

Examining the Coronavirus from the Lens of Human Rights

Citation:

3/26/2020. “Examining the Coronavirus from the Lens of Human Rights.” Carr Center Covid-19 Discussion Paper Series, 01. See full text.
Examining the Coronavirus from the Lens of Human Rights

Abstract:

Three Carr Center faculty share their take on the global pandemic with an eye towards human rights.

The Carr Center will begin a regular discussion series outlining how the pandemic intersects with specific human rights domains. In our introductory paper, Mathias Risse, Kathryn Sikkink, and Timothy Patrick McCarthy discuss the importance of human rights in a pandemic situation. In addition to describing how we can balance individual rights with those of the larger community, they also situate the current pandemic within historical contexts, and within a larger backdrop of our current digital age. 

Read the full document here.  

: Carr Center | Mar 26 2020
: Three Carr Center faculty share their take on the global pandemic with an eye towards human rights.
Last updated on 05/04/2020
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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