Special Initiatives


Addressing current human rights concerns at local, state, and international levels

The Carr Center’s work includes a range of special initiatives focused on critical and compelling human rights concerns, including migration, trafficking, torture, transitional justice, humanitarian crises, LGBTQ rights, corruption, and shrinking civil society space. These initiatives are responsive to current events and are reflected in the work of our fellows, student experiential learning and funding, conferences and seminars, and the Center’s podcast.

The Carr Center plays a national and international  role in developing and disseminating non-partisan, evidence-based, inter-disciplinary research and policy analysis; creating opportunities for cross-sector and cross-issue convening and collaboration; and offering a human rights perspective on public policy problems.  Based at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Carr Center is in a unique position to leverage the convening power of Harvard and bring together unlikely allies in building opportunities for deliberation and collaboration.

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Upcoming Events

2021 Dec 03

A Tribute to John Ruggie

9:00am to 10:15am


Zoom Webinar (Registration Required)

Join us for a tribute to the profound life and work of John Ruggie, whose efforts to create the United Nations Global Compact and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights have made the world a more equal and just place.


  • Anita Ramasastry | Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
  • Mary Ruggie | Former Adjunct Professor, Harvard University
  • Mathias Risse | Faculty Director, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy;...
Read more about A Tribute to John Ruggie

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighbourhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

- Eleanor Roosevelt