Founded in 2009, the Program on Human Rights (PHR) is a unique intersection of the social sciences and public-policy formation and implementation. It provides a forum for the dozens of Stanford faculty who work in disciplines that engage or border on human rights (including law, philosophy, political science, education, human biology, public health, history and religious studies) and the more than 30 student-initiated human rights groups on campus. It seeks to relate the research and findings of the academic disciplines to domestic and human rights policy today.
The PHR seeks to understand how human rights can best be deployed to advance social justice, freedom, equality, development and the rule of law. Which people and institutions set and apply human rights standards? What are the primary obstacles (political, social, economic and technological) to advancing human rights, and how can they be overcome? And given the divergence in the cultural norms, patterns of economic and legal organization, religious, moral and political creeds within and across nation states, should human rights standards differ from place to place?