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For Immediate Release

Susannah Sirkin Awarded Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award

Cambridge, Mass. - 02/21/2012

Susannah Sirkin, Deputy Director of PHR, was honored by Tufts University’s Institute for Global Leadership with the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award.

Sirkin was presented with the award at the Tuft’s EPIIC (Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship) Symposium, held February 22-26 at Tufts University, where she was a featured speaker on Friday evening’s panel discussing global response to mass atrocities.

Sirkin has held her position with PHR since the organization’s founding 25 years ago, and has organized investigations into human rights violations in dozens of countries, from Afghanistan to Sudan. She has worked extensively on studies of sexual violence in war zones, and has edited numerous reports and articles on the medical consequences of human rights violations, physical evidence of human rights abuses, and physician complicity in violations. She also served as PHR’s representative to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, for which the organization shared in the 1997 Nobel Prize for Peace.

Sirkin is currently focused on ending rape in war through PHR’s new program which is training legal and medical practitioners (doctors, nurses, social workers, lawyers, judges, police officers) in the proper forensic documentation of sexual assault in order to help prosecute cases of sexual violence in East and Central Africa.

The Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award was established by the Institute for Global Leadership in 1993 to honor the work and life of Dr. Jean Mayer, President and Chancellor of Tufts University from 1976-93, and it is given annually to individuals who have dedicated themselves to solving the most pressing problems facing the world. Past recipients have included Amartya Sen, Paul Farmer, and Desmond Tutu.

To learn more about the symposium, please visit the EPIIC website.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. We are supported by the expertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.

Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

  • 1986 — Led investigations of torture in Chile gaining freedom for heroic doctors there
  • 1988 — First to document the Iraqi use of chemical weapons on Kurds providing               evidence for prosecution of war criminals
  • 1996 — Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans and Rwanda to provide evidence for               International Criminal Tribunals
  • 1997 — Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 — Warned US Policymakers on health and human rights conditions prior to and               during the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 — Documented genocide and sexual violence in Darfur in support of international               prosecutions
  • 2010 — Investigated the epidemic of violence spread by Burma’s military junta
  • 2011 — Championed the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of               armed conflict and civil unrest during the Arab Spring
  • 2012 — Trained doctors, lawyers, police, and judges in the Democratic Republic of the               Congo, Kenya, and Syria on the proper collection of evidence in sexual               violence cases
  • 2013 — Won first prize in the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention with MediCapt, our               mobile app that documents evidence of torture and sexual violence

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