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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:

Civilians Must Be Protected as Hudeidah Comes Under Assault (June 13, 2018)

Physicians for Human Rights is horrified by an attack launched today by the Saudi-led coalition on the Yemeni city of Hudeidah, despite repeated calls for all parties to exercise military restraint on this vital port which serves as a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Yemeni Port of Hudeidah, a Civilian Lifeline, Must Remain Operational (June 11, 2018)

PHR condemns any military assault on Hudeidah and calls on the United States, France, and the UK – as well as regional players – to take swift action and leadership to give the international community a strong voice against this planned military assault, and to push for an immediate and lasting ceasefire.

PHR Signs Joint Letter Urging UN Secretary General to Act on Saudi Arabia (June 8, 2018)

PHR joins NGO call urging UN Secretary General to act on Saudi Arabia.

Physicians for Human Rights Honors Heroes of Health Care and Human Rights (May 3, 2018)

PHR held its annual gala dinner on Wednesday night (May 2) at the Mandarin Oriental in New York, attended by some 250 human rights advocates and activists across industries and sectors, including physicians, philanthropists, journalists, and others who support the important work done by PHR.

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DNA Technology and the Denial of Justice for Survivors of Sexual Violence (November 29, 2017)

DNA analysis is often lauded as an invaluable tool for prosecutors. But it’s not a panacea, and our exaggerated dependence on it threatens to derail countless cases of sexual violence.

PHR Awarded 2017 Dodd Prize in Human Rights (November 28, 2017)

On November 2, 2017, Physicians for Human Rights received the 2017 Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut’s Thomas J. Dodd Research Center in Storrs, Connecticut. As part of the formal award ceremony, former U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd and the Center’s leadership presented PHR Executive Director Donna McKay and board chairman Kerry Sulkowicz with the award.

“Our Work Isn’t Finished Yet” (October 9, 2017)

Twenty years ago, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced it would award the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the campaign’s coordinator, Jody Williams, for their work in securing a landmark treaty to ban antipersonnel mines globally. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), as a founding member of the Campaign, shared in the prize.

Reconciliation and Justice in Northern Iraq (September 26, 2017)

I still remember it vividly. Just over three years ago, in August 2014, I woke up to the news that ISIS – also known as the Islamic State – had launched unprecedented, orchestrated attacks on Yazidi villages in Northern Iraq. Being from Syria, a country plagued by ISIS, I knew very well how ruthless these fighters are. But what happened to the Yazidis exceeded my most pessimistic predictions.

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Yemen: Attacks on Health May 2018 Newsletter (May 2018)

Despite efforts to renew peace talks, the Yemen conflict reached its third anniversary in March 2018 and has left 22 million people in need of humanitarian aid, nearly 9,500 dead, 55,000 injured, and two million displaced over the past three years. As fighting intensified in al-Hudaydah and Taizz Governorates, humanitarian agencies expressed increasing concern about the safety of civilians.

Joint Letter to Turkish President Erdoğan Condemning Persecution of Medical Professionals (January 2018)

PHR has signed a joint letter to Turkish President Erdoğan expressing grave concern over the ongoing persecution of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA). The TMA’s leadership was arrested this week following days of threats and protests over a recent statement by the group criticizing war as a public health threat.

PHR Remembers its Founder, Dr. Jonathan Fine (January 2018)

Dr. Jonathan Fine (1931-2018), who died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on January 17, 2018, was the founder and first executive director of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). A primary care physician raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, Fine was already a student activist as an undergraduate at Swarthmore College, before going on to receive his medical training at Yale University and an MPH from Johns Hopkins University.

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