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National Student Program

Join PHR’s National Student Program and register your school’s chapter.

PHR’s National Student Program engages medical students and other young health professionals from across the United States who are interested in the intersection of health and human rights. The program provides medical students with the necessary resources and training to develop the skills and experience required to advocate for human rights.

Students organize local, direct actions on human rights issues; raise awareness on their campuses, in local communities, and in the media; organize educational events; and urge elected officials to take action through lobby days and by responding to PHR action alerts. PHR student chapters on medical school campuses represent every region of the country, indicating sincere interest in the intersection of health and human rights among young people. Since they represent the next generation of medical professionals, PHR is fortunate to have such a vibrant community of students interested in using their skills to support rights for all.

PHR collaborates with the student chapters through on-campus trainings in human rights at PHR’s asylum clinics at select universities, and by participating in national student conferences. Each chapter has its own set of leaders and organizes awareness-raising activities, educational events, and actions to promote human rights. Students are encouraged to develop their own projects in consultation with the national office, and all PHR chapters are encouraged to seek recognition from their university to facilitate the promotion of human rights education in their training as health professionals. You can learn more about the student program by visiting their website.

The program is overseen by PHR’s National Student Advisory Board. Members of the board bring a diverse range of experience and backgrounds to the program.

The program has created PHR Toolkits to provide students with relevant information and tools:

Raqqa Offensive Has Destroyed City’s Health Care System (September 8, 2017)

Intense fighting in Raqqa has devastated the Syrian city’s health care system, even as the offensive to release the city from ISIS control has increased the need for emergency services among an ever more desperate population. In interviews with health professionals and relief personnel, PHR has confirmed that Raqqa’s poorly-equipped National Hospital is now the only health care facility operating to serve tens of thousands of people remaining in the city.

Statement of Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large Stephen Rapp on the Proposed Elimination of the Office of Global Criminal Justice (July 18, 2017)

Following reports of the proposed closure of the U.S. State Department office that focuses on war crimes, PHR today condemned the proposal and released this statement attributable to former U.S. ambassador-at-large Stephen J. Rapp, PHR board member: “The proposed closure of the Office of Global Criminal Justice represents a profound lack of understanding of the mechanisms necessary to hold war criminals accountable for their actions."

PHR Responds to Re-Authorization of Travel Ban (June 26, 2017)

“We are deeply disappointed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today to re-authorize parts of the Trump administration’s draconian, needlessly cruel travel ban. It will only sow more chaos and heartbreak. What is particularly troubling about the court’s ruling today is that by designing a ‘bona fide relationship’ requirement, the court is effectively creating separate classes of refugees.

Questions President Erdogan Should Answer Tomorrow in Washington (May 16, 2017)

Tomorrow, U.S. President Donald J. Trump will meet with his Turkish counterpart, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has long partnered with Turkish health professionals and human rights advocates to investigate and prevent human rights violations in Turkey and around the world. Since last year’s coup attempt, the crackdown against critics and human rights defenders has been catastrophic.

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Defending Health Care is at the Heart of the Human Rights Agenda (September 18, 2017)

As ambassadors, foreign ministers, and heads of state gather in New York this week for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, hundreds of critical global issues and vital events vie for their attention. Terror and nuclear proliferation. Development goals and climate change. Reforming the UN itself, its meetings and its budgets. Refugees.

Human Rights Trailblazer at 100 (September 15, 2017)

In September, Physicians for Human Rights celebrated the 100th birthday of one of our co-founders, Dr. Carola Eisenberg. With a career spanning well over five decades, Dr. Eisenberg has been a trailblazing physician and human rights advocate.

What’s Next for Kenya? (September 11, 2017)

Following a decision by Kenya’s supreme court to nullify August’s presidential elections, the country has plunged back into campaign mode, with new elections slated for October 17. It’s a victory for the rule of law in Kenya, but also a time of uncertainty and potential turmoil.

As Drug Court Proponents Rally Around Capitol Hill, Legislators Beware (July 11, 2017)

As drug court proponents call for expanding drug courts as an alternative to incarceration for people arrested on drug-related charges, they are failing to address the intense debate about the efficacy of the courts and the need for policy reform that will allow people to access treatment outside the criminal justice system.

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Letter to Secretary of Health Republic of the Philippines (July 2017)

PHR urges Philippines Secretary of Health to undertake a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation into claims of medical complicity, and take all measures necessary to ensure that no health staff or health systems under their authority take part in human rights abuses.

Neither Justice nor Treatment (June 2017)

Drug courts in the United States routinely fail to provide adequate, medically-sound treatment for substance use disorders, with treatment plans that are at times designed and facilitated by individuals with little to no medical training. In this report, Physicians for Human Rights shows how drug courts – designed to reduce incarceration and provide necessary treatment – struggle to meet medical and human rights standards.

Access Denied: UN Aid Deliveries to Syria’s Besieged and Hard-to-Reach Areas (March 2017)

As the conflict in Syria enters its seventh grueling year, Physicians for Human Rights calls attention to the Syrian government’s continued practice of deliberately and illegally manipulating UN humanitarian access to millions of people trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas of the country.

Letter to Indian Minister of Home Affairs (September 2016)

PHR sent a letter to the Indian Minister of Home Affairs, Shri Rajnath Singh, regarding recommendations issued by an Expert Committee on the use of force by police and security forces against protesters in Jammu and Kashmir.

More -General Research »