National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Committee on Human Rights
Please join us in supporting human rights at the National Academies.
We are the three National Academy of Engineering members currently serving on the Committee on Human Rights (CHR) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS, NAE, and NAM). We write to tell you about the significant human rights work that is taking place within the Academies. We also invite you to join nearly 1,500 other members of the Academies by becoming a “Correspondent” of the Committee to receive updates and alerts on our activities.

The CHR is composed of 12 members drawn from the NAS, NAE, and NAM, including the three International Secretaries. It provides support to scientists, engineers, and health professionals worldwide who are suffering serious human rights abuses and works to raise awareness of pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and science, engineering, and medicine. The Committee enjoys strong support from the three Academies and their Presidents. Below you will find more information about the CHR’s activities.

For more details, including information on the benefits of becoming a Correspondent and testimonials from other Academy members, please see our brochure, Engaging with Human Rights at the National Academies.

To become a corresponding supporter of the Academies’ Committee on Human Rights, please sign up here or email us at If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us or CHR Director Rebecca Everly [].

We would be pleased to count you among the CHR’s supporters.  

All the best, 
CHR Advocacy and Assistance 

The heart of the CHR’s work is advocacy in support of colleagues throughout the world who are experiencing severe human rights abuses, often as a result of their professional activities. CHR's human rights advocacy involves many avenues of action, including:
  • outreach to relevant U.S., foreign, and international officials, as well as university and other academic networks;
  • an alert system for members of the Academies, which highlights cases of significant human rights concern and provides opportunities to take action; and  
  • submission of detailed information to international human rights bodies.
We are currently following roughly 100 cases involving colleagues suffering severe rights abuses, including 15 cases involving engineers. Over the course of its nearly 50-year history, the CHR has advocated in more than 250 now-resolved cases involving engineers.  

In addition to our advocacy, we work to connect colleagues and their families with organizations that provide pro bono legal services, assistance with academic placements (for scholars fleeing their home countries), and other types of support. We also periodically raise human rights cases and issues with the three Academy Presidents and advise the Presidents on possible action in response to matters of human rights concern. 
Connecting Human Rights and Engineering

A long-standing CHR priority has been to raise awareness concerning topical human rights issues at the intersection of science, engineering, and medicine. We have held several events that concern human rights challenges related to engineering and technology. We have also produced a number of campaigns and resources that demonstrate the unique role engineers can play in responding to rights-related global challenges and in support of their threatened colleagues. A sampling of these activities are highlighted below.
International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies

The CHR serves as Secretariat of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies, which brings together approximately 90 national academies in support of our shared mission. 
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