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November 2018
web resources

Launch of the CHR's Human Rights Web Resources
To help facilitate the critical engagement of scientists, engineers, and health professionals on human rights issues, the CHR has developed a collection of web resources that provides information about how these groups can help safeguard human rights and the free exercise of scientific inquiry.  The CHR’s web resources serve as an extension of the CHR’s “8 Things You Can Do to Promote Human Rights” poster, which you can download here.

hr guide cover crop

September 2018

Engaging with Human Rights in the National Academy Context
The International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies (H.R. Network), for which the CHR serves as the Secretariat, has produced a resource guide, Engaging with Human Rights in the National Academy Context. For more information on the themes addressed in the resource guide, view the accompanying webinar, in which several academy members participating in the H.R. Network discuss their academies' involvement in matters of human rights concern.

Full refugee camp signs

September 2018

CHR Issues Proceedings in Brief of its Symposium, Protecting the Rights of Individuals Fleeing Conflict
On December 7-8, 2017, the CHR convened a symposium on the role that scientists, engineers, and health professionals can play in addressing rights-related challenges confronting forcibly displaced persons. Major themes of the symposium – including the role of research, opportunities and risks presented by technological advances, and aid for scholars seeking to continue their careers in exile – are outlined in the Proceedings of a Symposium—in Brief.

Martha Vaughan

September 13, 2018
In MemoriAM

In Memory of Dr. Martha Vaughan, Member Emerita of the Committee on Human Rights
It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of National Academy of Sciences member Martha Vaughan, who served on the Committee on Human Rights (CHR) from 1992-1998.  Dr. Vaughan was elected to the NAS in 1985 for her pioneering work in the field of metabolic regulation. Dr. Vaughan’s support over the past 32 years has been invaluable to the Committee, and we are deeply grateful to have had the pleasure to know and work with her. Read more.


June 2018
PUBLIC Statement

The Harmful Consequence of Separating Families
The presidents of NAS, NAE, and NAM have issued a statement urging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to immediately stop separating migrant children from their families. Reports from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine contain an extensive body of evidence on the factors that affect the welfare of children – evidence that points to the danger of current immigration enforcement actions that separate children from their parents. In addition, the CHR stresses that the practice of separating parents from their children at the border is inconsistent with U.S. international human rights obligationsRead more.

In Focus article pic

April 2018

Highlights from the CHR Refugee Symposium 
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 or view the webcast recording of the symposium. 

Annual Report cover cropt

April 2018

The CHR's Year in Review
The CHR 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. Read the report.


Patty Halifax panel

February 13, 2018

CHR Represented at "Science in Exile" Film Screening and Panel Discussion
Saint Mary’s University in Halifax hosted a film screening of The World Academy of Sciences’ (TWAS) new documentary, “Science in Exile”, which highlights the struggles faced by displaced scientists attempting to relocate and continue their work. Patricia Evers, Senior Program Officer for the CHR, joined the panel discussion that followed the screening. Read more.


The New Barbarism

December 18, 2017

NAM Hosts Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion on the Targeting of Health Professionals in Conflict Areas
The National Academy of Medicine hosted a screening of an original documentary from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, titled The New Barbarianism. The screening was followed by a panel discussion and included Patricia Evers, Senior Program Officer at the CHR. Read more.

John Scott-Railton

May 1, 2017

New Tactics of Abuse: Digital Surveillance and Human Rights
During the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Annual Meeting, the CHR held a breakfast briefing to highlight issues surrounding digital security and human rights.  The meeting featured John Scott-Railton of The Citizen Lab, who spoke about the use of digital surveillance and technologies to target members of civil society worldwide. Read more and watch the video interview with Mr. Scott-Railton.

Jose Torero

May 2017
speaker spotlight

Collaborating on Human Rights Investigations: Fire Research and Forensic Science
At the spring 2017 meeting of the CHR, Professor José Torero—the John L. Bryan Chair in Fire Protection Engineering and Director of the Center for Disaster Resilience at the University of Maryland—spoke to members about his efforts to help protect human rights through the investigation of several high-profile fires. Read more.

 H.R. Network Panama symposium

October 2016
H.R. Network meeting

The International H.R. Network Holds its Twelfth Biennial Meeting in Panama City, Panama
The twelfth biennial meeting of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies (H.R. Network), for which CHR serves as Secretariat, was held from October 5-8, 2016 in Panama City, Panama. Representatives of 25 national scientific academies and scholarly societies from around the world were in attendance. The meeting included a symposium, Science and Human Rights: Navigating the CurrentsView the programs for the symposium and student session, as well as photos of meeting participants. 

Turkey map

September 9, 2016

Executive Committee of the H.R. Network Issues Statement in Support of Turkish Academics
The Executive Committee issued a public statement calling for the government of Turkey to ensure that all scholars who have been removed from their positions solely as a result of having peacefully exercised internationally protected rights are reinstated without delay and that no punitive measures are taken without procedural protections for the individuals concerned. Read more. 

Lisa Anderson

September 2016
speaker spotlight

Exploring the Tensions between National Security and Academic Freedom
During the Fall 2016 annual meeting of the NAS, Lisa Anderson, political scientist and former president of the American University in Cairo, spoke at a session convened by the CHR on academic freedom, human rights, and national security. Dr. Anderson's talk, published in Science Diplomacy, addressed global challenges to academic freedom and offered ways in which scientists can respond to such challenges. 

Haberal for web

August 2016
Case update

Turkish Surgeon Mehmet Haberal Elected President of the Transplantation Society
Turkish transplantation surgeon Mehmet Haberal has been elected head of the international Transplantation Society. Dr. Haberal, whose case was undertaken by the CHR following his unjust arrest in 2009, is an internationally respected transplantation surgeon. Read more.


Global concerns for Turkey

July 29, 2016

After failed coup, Turkey's academics feel regime's wrath
Science Magazine reports on the concern expressed by the global scientific community over the repressive measures being taken against Turkish academics following the attempted military coup on July 15. Martin Chalfie, Chair of the CHR commented on the situation, noting that “(p)rotecting national security should not be incompatible with safeguarding fundamental rule of law and human rights principles.” Read more. 

Turkey map

July 25, 2016
H.R. Network Statement

Executive Committee of the H.R. Network Issues Statement Concerning Repressive Measures against Turkish Academics
Members of the H.R. Network’s Executive Committee have closely followed events in Turkey following the attempted military coup on July 15 and have called for the government of Turkey to ensure that all increasingly repressive measures taken against Turkish academics in the interest of security are consistent with Turkey’s obligations under international human rights law. See full statement.

Refugee photo

May 2016
speaker spotlight
Supporting Syrian Higher Education in Crisis: Spotlight on IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund 
At the spring 2016 meeting of the CHR, James King – Assistant Director of the Institute of International Education Scholar Rescue Fund (IIE-SRF), spoke to members about IIE-SRF’s work, including its vital support of Syrian scholars during the 21st century’s worst humanitarian crisis. Read an overview of their work with threatened scholars worldwide and view video clips of James King’s presentation to the CHR.

Turkey map

January 2016
H.R. Network statement

Global Scientific Community Expresses Alarm Concerning Repressive Measures Taken against Turkish Academics
Members of the H.R. Network expressed alarmed, “by the increasingly repressive and inflammatory reaction by Turkish government leaders, many university officials, and other intolerant individuals toward hundreds of Turkish colleagues, solely because they publicly expressed humanitarian concerns about the grave crisis in south eastern Turkey.”

See the full statement which was later endorsed by 30 Nobel Laureates.

Marty landscape 2

January 19, 2016

Turkish Academics Pay Price for Speaking Out on Kurds
Martin Chalfie, Nobel Prize–winning chemist and Chair of the Committee on Human Rights speaks to Science Magazine about the crackdown against Turkish Academics. See article.

Dr. Mukwege in surgery

October 2015
video Interviews

Health Professionals and Human Rights  
During the NAM Annual Meeting, Leonard Rubenstein, Director of the Program on Human Rights, Health and Conflict (Center for Public Health and Human Rights) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital in the DRC, spoke to NAM members about attacks against healthcare professionals globally and the importance of supporting the work of medical professionals in conflict zones. Watch video interviews with Dr. Mukwege and Mr. Rubenstein following the meeting.