The Human Rights Program at Mount Sinai

The mission of the Mount Sinai Human Rights Program is to advance health, dignity and justice for all by inspiring and training health care professionals to protect, promote and fulfill human rights. We carry out this mission through education, research, service and advocacy. The Program combines the academic strengths of teaching and research with a strong commitment to engaging in service and advocacy. By inspiring and training Mount Sinai students, residents, fellows, and faculty to incorporate a human rights framework in their work, we seek to advance health and human rights and promote social justice both locally and globally.

The HR Program has six primary objectives:

  1. We use our teaching capacity to train medical students, public health students, residents, fellows and faculty in health and human rights principles, and to inspire current and future leaders in the health and human rights field.
  2. We use our research capacity to investigate, analyze, and document human rights failures and disseminate the findings through academic publications and presentations, in order to shape health and other relevant policies of various US and global institutions and bring about meaningful action and change for the most vulnerable populations.
  3. We use our academic capacity to contribute knowledge through publications and lectures to the field of health and human rights on how the human rights framework can translate into meaningful action and change for the most vulnerable populations.
  4. We use our clinical capacity to provide much needed evaluations for individuals who have suffered torture and other human rights violations. The Human Rights Clinic evaluates those individuals who are seeking asylum and works to coordinate the provision of basic primary care services for those who need it.
  5. We use our coordinating capacity across various Mount Sinai entities and individuals to act as a clearinghouse for ongoing health and human rights initiatives within the Mount Sinai community, as well as to forge collaborative partnerships with other human rights centers, organizations, and academic institutions.
  6. We use our advocacy capacity to mobilize the Mount Sinai community to engage in successful interventions guided by human rights principles and to support outside partners who are engaged daily in the work of promoting and protecting human rights, and delivering health interventions in resource-poor settings.

The Human Rights Program supports and champions the robust student Physicians for Human Rights chapter at Mount Sinai. Our exemplary student-created Human Rights and Social Justice Scholars Program was recognized with the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Student Service Leadership Project Award this year.


Meet the Director

Dr. Holly Atkinson, Human Rights Program Director