The Center’s mission is to bring the tools of population-based science and research to bear on some of the world’s most complex public health and human rights challenges. This includes understanding the roles and responsibilities of health workers in places where human rights violations take place, assessing the impact of state violence and discrimination on the health of under-served minorities and ethnic groups, and working with stigmatized groups at risk for HIV/AIDS and other health threats.
Our work is based on the principle that health is a basic human right. Human rights violations, such as discrimination against poor and marginalized communities and violence against women, can limit access to health care and have serious health consequences for individuals, families and communities. Protecting human rights reduces vulnerability to illness and is an essential part of tackling many of the world’s major health challenges, including infectious diseases.
Based in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology and led by Professor Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH, the Center for Public Health and Human Rights works to advance understanding about these critical links between health and human rights. Since it was established in 2004, the Center has become a global leader in research, teaching and advocacy designed to help some of the world’s most disadvantaged people to assert their rights to health and to human dignity.