Human Security

Human Security

People-centered global policies that promote the right of all people to live in freedom and dignity, free from poverty and despair



The Commission on Human Security defines human security as protecting “the vital core of all human lives in ways that enhance human freedoms and human fulfillment.” Major global threats to human security include war, mass atrocities, environmental degradation, and public health crises. Some human security issues are well known, like torture and genocide, and others are hidden, like the millions of missing women in the world. Refugees, the stateless, and those who live in failed states are often the most vulnerable.

The United Nations lists seven types of human security challenges: economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, personal security, community security, and political security.



The Carr Center’s approach to addressing human security over the next five years will focus on generating new knowledge and policy insights, as well as convening policy makers and practitioners across sectors, on key human security concerns such as war, genocide, torture, political prisoners, gender based violence, trafficking, migration, climate change, and statelessness.

This builds upon past Carr Center work and expertise, as well as expands it to new and emerging human security challenges.

The United Nations States Unequivocally:

“All individuals, in particular vulnerable people, are entitled to freedom from fear and freedom from want, with an equal opportunity to enjoy all their rights and fully develop their human potential.”

Programs & Initiatives



The Carr Center seeks to draw attention to acts of mass atrocity and genocide, analyzing strategies and tools to better prevent and respond to these massive violations of human rights.

Read more



The Carr Center conducts research on migration, refugees, and internally displaced persons (IDPs). Our analysis focuses on the human rights of those fleeing conflict and instability.

Read more


Political Prisoners

The Carr Center investigates the detention of citizens on political grounds, their arbitrary detention, and violations of their fundamental human rights.

Read more


The Carr Center examines the broad policy ramifications of the U.S. decision to use torture after the attacks of 9/11.

Read more


Transitional Justice

The Carr Center examines the challenges of countries attempting to regain balance and redress legacies of massive human rights violations.

Read more


Modern Slavery

The Carr Center conducts research on the underlying causes and conditions that permit human trafficking to flourish and developing data-driven public policy strategies to address this global human rights crisis.

Read more