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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on Human Rights
of the NAS, NAE, and NAM

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The Committee on Human Rights (CHR), created in 1976, is a standing membership committee of the United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS), National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and National Academy of Medicine (NAM). The CHR serves as a bridge between the human rights and scientific communities, in recognition of the importance of rights protection both for scientific inquiry and the realization of human dignity worldwide. It advocates in support of scientists, engineers, and health professionals subjected to serious human rights abuses worldwide. 

The infographics below (click on the images to expand them) highlight the CHR’s advocacy efforts and provide a regional breakdown of our current and “resolved” cases*, as well as types of abuse suffered by colleagues.  They also provide a snapshot of members of the Academies who lend support to the work of the CHR (CHR Correspondents). Data is from March 2018. 

*“Resolved” cases are cases on which the Committee is no longer working as the result of significant positive developments (e.g. release, acquittal). Resolved cases may be reopened as a result of subsequent negative developments.

March 2018 infographic                                                             Current and resolved breakdown March 2018


In the spotlight   

Year in Review coverThe CHR's Year in Review 

The Committee on Human Rights has had a busy and productive year, as demonstrated in our 2018 Annual Report. The report provides an overview of the CHR’s activities during the past year, including meetings/events to raise awareness of pressing issues concerning human rights and science and the use of new advocacy tools to support scientists, engineers, and health professionals suffering serious human rights abuses worldwide.

To learn more, read the report.




Highlights from the CHR Refugee Symposium 

On December 7-8, 2017, the Committee on Human Rights hosted a public symposium, Protecting the Rights of Individuals Fleeing Conflict: The Role of Scientists, Engineers & Health Professionals

The symposium was featured in The National Academies’ magazine, In Focus, in its Spring 2018 edition. Read the piece, Harnessing Science to Help Refugees, for more information about the event.

You can also watch a highlight video below or view the webcast recording of the symposium.

CHR 2017 Symposium Highlight Reel from The National Academies on Vimeo.


Read More News



  Resolved Cases See all...  

Anwar Ibrahim 

Jailed Malaysian Opposition Leader Receives a Royal Pardon

Vahid and wife 3 

Iranian Baha'i Optometrist Released after Serving 10-Year Sentence

Zone 9 bloggers 

Longstanding Case against Ethiopian Scientific Colleagues Is Dropped 

Iranian Baha’i Engineer Released after Serving 10-Year Prison Sentence

Iranian Baha'i Engineer Released after Serving 10 Year Sentence 

 istar photo

Formerly Detained Turkish Political Scientist Acquitted
merera gudina photo Ethiopian Political Scientist Dr. Merera Gudina Released from Prolonged Detention
Hasan photo Bangladeshi Political Scientist Returned Home after 44-Day Disappearance