Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) mobilizes health professionals to advance health, dignity, and justice, and promotes the right to health for all. Harnessing the specialized skills, rigor, and passion of doctors, nurses, public health specialists and scientists, PHR investigates human rights abuses and works to stop them.
Our research takes us to conflict zones, to US prisons and immigration detention centers — and our advocacy brings us to the offices of national and international policymakers. The courts, decision makers and the media have come to rely on our credibility and expertise. Motivated by moral urgency, based on science, and anchored in international human rights standards, PHR’s advocacy advances global health and protects human rights. PHR is building a new movement for human rights based on the solid foundation of over two decades of investigation, advocacy and accomplishment.
PHR was founded in 1986 with the idea that health professionals, with their specialized skills, ethical duties, and credible voices, are uniquely positioned to investigate the health consequences of human rights violations and work to stop them.
Since its founding in 1986, PHR members have worked to stop torture and political killings; investigated deaths and trauma inflicted on civilians during conflicts; documented inequities in health and health care due to racial, ethnic and gender discrimination; exposed exploitation of children in labor practices; documented evidence of genocide, exposed human rights abuses within prisons; and helped build local capacity to combat global AIDS.
PHR is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and also has an office in Washington, DC. We are a non-profit, non-sectarian organization funded through private foundations and by individual donors. Membership is open to all, not just health professionals. PHR shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.