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Issues

Over the past 25 years, PHR has worked on a variety of human rights issues in more than 40 countries. Today, we focus on the following types of mass atrocities and severe human rights violations against the individual:

Torture

After 9/11, physicians and psychologists were enlisted by the US government to design, implement, and monitor the use of torture against detainees. At the same time, the global use of torture continues and survivors who seek asylum in the United States face harsh treatment in US detention centers.

Mass Atrocities

The past twenty years have seen an increase in the severity and scope of mass atrocities, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. However, new mechanisms for prevention of mass atrocities have been created, including a genocide prevention office within the UN, the adoption of the doctrine of “Responsibility to Protect” at the UN, and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Stopping Rape in War

Women and girls across the world are sexually assaulted by government troops, rebel forces, and civilians. In wartime and civil unrest, rape is used as a means of control and humiliation of populations, expression of power, and dilution of village and tribal bloodlines. This violence is particularly acute in Central and East Africa, where over 1.8 million women in the Congo have been raped.

Persecution of Health Workers

During civil unrest and armed conflict, health workers and patients often suffer deliberate attacks, including disappearance, beating and intimidation, deliberate attacks on hospitals, and destruction of hospital blood supplies.