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Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an international non-governmental organization, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that promotes health by protecting human rights. It is an organization that believes that human rights are essential preconditions for the health and well-being of all people. PHR investigates and exposes violations of human rights worldwide using medical and scientific means, and uses this to stop them. PHR supports institutions that hold perpetrators of human rights abuses, including health professionals, accountable for their actions. The group educates health professionals and medical, public health, and nursing students and organizes them to become active in supporting a movement for human rights and creating a culture of human rights in the medical and scientific professions.

Since its founding by several concerned physicians in 1986, PHR members have worked to:

  • Educate and advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment
  • Stop disappearances and Torture
  • End political killings by governments and opposition groups
  • Improve health and sanitary conditions in prisons and detention centers
  • Investigate the physical and psychological consequences of violations of humanitarian law in internal and international conflicts
  • Defend medical neutrality and the right of civilians and combatants to receive medical care during times of war
  • Protect health professionals who are victims of violations of human rights
  • Prevent medical complicity in torture and other abuses.

PHR was one of the original steering committee members of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. PHR currently serves as coordinator of the US Campaign to Ban Landmines.

Founders and Famous PHR Board Members

External links


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