Most of the links on this page were compiled by the Committee on the Welfare of Scientists of the AAAS Coalition on Science and Human Rights, under the direction of Juan Gallardo and John Gillespie and is used with their permission. The authors hope that this listing will encourage cooperation and collaboration between the organizations included.
Disclaimer: These sites contain information that may be of interest to human rights workers. Please bear in mind that the information at these sites is not controlled by the Committee of Concerned Scientists and may not represent the organization’s views.
The AAAS Science and Human Rights Program (SHRP) calls attention to human rights abuses involving scientists and scientific communities through the circulation of Action Alerts issued by professional associations on behalf of their colleagues or by human rights organizations.
Cases that are publicized through the Action Alerts are researched and developed by the association or organization that submits the call for action. The alerts provide important background information on the case(s), and recommend specific actions to support the victim(s) of human rights abuse. The Action Alerts reach hundreds of AAAS members and other concerned scientists and engineers who are a part of SHRP’s network.
You are invited to join the SHRP action alert network to help publicize cases that require action on the part of the scientific community.
American Chemical Society, Committee on International Activities and Subcommittee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights
Contact: Brad Miller
ACS monitors the world for violations of the human rights of scientists and joins with other societies in petitioning the governments of the countries where such violations take place.
The American Mathematical Society’s Committee on the Human Rights of Mathematicians concentrates its activity of the rights of mathematicians living outside the United States. It investigates cases or rights abuse, makes polite inquiries of foreign governments and embassies, and, when, appropriate, intervenes on behalf either of individuals or, occasionally, groups of individuals.
CIFS is responsible for monitoring concerns regarding human rights for scientists throughout the world. It apprises the APS leadership of problems encountered by scientists in pursuit of their scientific interests or in effecting satisfactory communication with other scientists. CIFS recommends appropriate courses of action designed to alleviate such problems, including writing letters to protest human rights violations.
Contact: Todd Landman, President, APSA Section on Human Rights
The APSA Section on Human Rights was established to encourage scholarship and facilitate exchange of data and research findings on all components of human rights (e.g., civil, political, economic, social, cultural, environmental), their relationship, determinants and consequences of human rights policies, structure and influence of human rights organizations, development, implementation, impact on international conventions, and changes in the international human rights regime.
Contact: Richard G.C. Johnston, Chair
The responsibility of the Committee on Professional Ethics, Rights and Freedoms is to protect the rights of political scientists and ensure that the ethical policies of the Association are followed.
The Committee concerns itself with violations of and threats to the scientific freedom and human rights of statisticians and other scientists throughout the world. The Committee also assists scientific societies on statistical questions relating to data on human rights.
Amnesty International is a grassroots activist organization which undertakes research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights. The US Section of AI can be reached through their website.
(journalists, translators, some of whom are scientists/scholars)
Contact: Joel Simon, Executive Director
CPJ promotes press freedom worldwide by defending the rights of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal.
Through scholarships and targeted assistance, CARA helps refugee academics re-establish their lives and careers so that their special knowledge and abilities may continue to benefit humankind. CARA also uses its expertise to provide advice and develop resources for the wider refugee community on education, training and employment opportunities.
Front Line seeks to provide rapid and practical support to at-risk human rights defenders (human rights activists including scientists and scholars), including a 24-hour emergency response phone line, and promotes the visibility and recognition of human rights defenders as a vulnerable group. They mobilize campaigning and lobbying on behalf of defenders at immediate risk and, in emergency situations, can facilitate temporary relocation.
Contact: Brenda Soder
Phone: 202-370-3323 (Washington DC Office)
Phone: 212-845-5200 (New York Office)
Human Rights Defenders program (human rights activists, including scholars, artists, scientists, journalists, public policy officials). When defenders are imprisoned, threatened, or at imminent risk, Human Rights First uses its access to high-level government officials and the media to galvanize quick action on the defender’s behalf. We also mobilize our growing grassroots constituency through the online Defender Alert Network.
HRIC New York Office
350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3311
New York, NY 10118 USA
Tel: +1 212-239-4495
Fax: +1 212-239-2561
Human Rights in China (HRIC), founded by Chinese students and scholars in March 1989, is an international, Chinese, nongovernmental organization with a mission to promote international human rights and advance the institutional protection of these rights in the People’s Republic of China. HRIC’s board and staff include Chinese, North American, and European individuals devoted to fostering greater space for democratic reforms and social justice.
Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10118-3299
Tel: 1-(212) 290-4700
Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes. Our rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse. For more than 30 years, Human Rights Watch has worked tenaciously to lay the legal and moral groundwork for deep-rooted change and has fought to bring greater justice and security to people around the world.
Contact: Elisabeth Dyvik, Project Coordinator
The International Cities of Refuge Network is an association of cities around the world dedicated to the value of Freedom of Expression. Each ICORN city focuses on one writer or scholar at a time, with each writer representing the countless others in hiding, in prison or silenced forever.
Contact: Carol Corillon
The International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies assists colleagues (scientists and scholars) around the world who are subjected to severe repression solely for having nonviolently exercised their rights. It also promotes human rights consciousness-raising and institutional commitment to human rights work among counterpart academies and scholarly societies worldwide.
International PEN’s primary goal is to engage with and empower societies and communities across cultures and languages, through reading and writing, including scholarly works. They act through the promotion of literature, international campaigning on issues such as translation and freedom of expression and improving access to literature at international, regional and national levels.
WEB site: Pen American Center
WEB site: International Pen
Contact: Carol Corillon
The Committee on Human Rights uses the influence and prestige of the institutions the National Academy of Sciences represents on behalf of scientists, engineers, and health professionals anywhere in the world. It works to promote justice for individuals who are threatened, unjustly detained or imprisoned for exercising their basic human rights or for political reasons. Activities of the committee include private inquiries, appeals to governments, moral support to prisoners and their families, and consciousness-raising efforts such as workshops and symposia.
NEAR facilitates collaborative action between international organizations active in issues of academic freedom and educational rights and is committed to promoting an understanding of, and respect for, human rights. NEAR receives reports of academic rights violations from its member organizations and credible media sources which are posted as alerts on the NEAR website.
WEB site: NEAR alerts by country
Contact: Dr. A. De Baets
The Network of Concerned Historians (NCH) wants to provide a bridge between international human rights organizations campaigning for censored or persecuted historians (and others concerned with the past) and the global community of historians. The Annual Reports, appearing since 1995, contain news about the domain where history and human rights intersect, especially about the censorship of history and the persecution of historians, archivists, and archaeologists around the globe, as reported by various human rights organizations and other sources. You may wish to visit: Campaigns for historians, NCH Annual Reports, or general Codes of Ethics.
Contact: Carmen Florencia McCaffery, Human Rights Program Liaison
New York Academy of Sciences
7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich St. 40th Floor
New York NY 10007-2157
The Committee on the Human Rights of Scientists was created in 1978 to support and promote the human rights of scientists, health professionals, engineers, and educators around the world. The committee intervenes on behalf of colleagues in the sciences who have been detained, imprisoned, exiled, or deprived of the rights to pursue science, communicate their findings to their peers and the general public, and travel freely. It also annually honors scientists for their contributions in this area with the Heinz R. Pagels Human Rights of Scientists Award.
A more detailed description can be found on their website.
2 Arrow Street Suite 301
Cambridge, MA 02138
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses the integrity of medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations against individuals. We use our investigations and expertise to advocate for the:
- Prevention of individual or small scale acts of violence from becoming mass atrocities
- Protection of internationally-guaranteed rights of individuals and civilian populations
- Prosecution of those who violate human rights
RWB defends journalists and media-assistants, including some scientists and scholars, who are imprisoned, mistreated, persecuted or tortured for doing their job. RWB also fights against censorship and laws that undermine press freedom, gives financial aid each year to 100 or so journalists or media outlets in difficulty (to pay for lawyers, medical care and equipment) as well to the families of imprisoned journalists, and works to improve the safety of journalists, especially those reporting in war zones.
The Fund provides fellowships for established scholars whose lives and work are threatened in their home countries. These fellowships permit professors, researchers and other senior academics to find temporary refuge at universities and colleges anywhere in the world, enabling them to pursue their academic work and to continue to share their knowledge with students, colleagues, and the community at large.
Frequently updated lists of scholars looking for hosts
SAR is an international network of universities and colleges responding to scholars who have been attacked because of their words, their ideas and their place in society. SAR promotes academic freedom and defends the human rights of scholars and their communities worldwide through the SAR website, email bulletins, publications and events. The SAR Speaker Series brings threatened scholars to member campuses to engage directly with students, faculty, alumni and the community.
WEB site: Scholars at Risk lists scholars in prison
WEB site: Lists scholars looking for hosts
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, [SPME), is a grass-roots community of scholars who have united to promote honest ,fact based, and civil discourse, especially in regard to Middle East issues. We believe that ethnic, national, and religious hatreds, including anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, have no place in our institutions, disciplines and communities. We employ academic means to address these issues.
Through Social Research, the Endangered Scholars Worldwide Project calls attention to the increasing, often brutal, attempts to silence colleagues around the world. Social Research publishes the names of endangered scholars and provides further details, along with draft letters of protest to the people responsible for their arrest and treatment.
Contact: Olga Weisfeiler