ResourcesPress Release

Physicians for Human Rights Named Dropbox Foundation Partner

Collaboration with tech company’s foundation comes with an unrestricted grant and in-kind project support

NEW YORK – Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is proud to have been named a 2019 Dropbox Foundation partner. The foundation, established in 2018 by Dropbox’s co-founders, Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, works alongside human rights organizations to help them respond more effectively to humanitarian crises and human rights violations. The human rights nonprofits with which the foundation partners benefit financially, through unrestricted funding, as well as through skills-based support from Dropbox employee volunteers.

PHR works at the intersection of medicine, science, and law to relieve human suffering, save lives, and secure justice and universal human rights for all.

The unrestricted grant from the Dropbox Foundation will be matched by a grant from the Open Society Foundations (OSF). The OSF funds come as part of an $8 million 2017 challenge grant from OSF, which matches one half of every new or increased donation PHR receives.

The new funds will support programmatic needs and allow PHR to create a new partnerships position to help leverage corporate and academic pro bono resources and implement PHR’s plan to grow its network of volunteer scientific experts and partnerships with medical associations. PHR has built a network of more than 1,200 volunteer medical professionals who support survivors of torture and ill-treatment seeking refuge and safe haven in the United States from the trauma and injury they endured in their countries of origin.

Funds also will provide two years of seed funding to hire a full-time U.S. researcher to focus on urgent human rights issues concerning asylum seekers arriving at the U.S. southern border with Mexico, particularly in Texas, where the greatest number of asylum seekers arrive and where harsh immigration enforcement policies have fueled a human rights and humanitarian crisis.

“For nearly 30 years, through comprehensive training and mentorship, PHR has taught volunteer medical professionals to evaluate survivors of human rights violations and forensically document their findings in ways that contribute to court processes and ultimately help win justice for survivors,” said Donna McKay, PHR’s executive director.

“Thanks to the Dropbox Foundation’s support, PHR will be able to increase our presence and partnerships in Texas, the epicenter of immigration-related human rights violations. By conducting forensic evaluations of asylum seekers, observing how law enforcement and detention facilities operate, and conducting research that produces facts that stand up to scrutiny, PHR can highlight the need for rights-respecting immigration practices and affect policy change.”

In addition, PHR particularly welcomes the opportunity to work side-by-side with Dropbox staff through Dropbox’s skills-based staff volunteering program.

PHR joins Allies Against Slavery as one of two organizations to be named a 2019 Dropbox Foundation partner. In its inaugural year last year, the foundation named four partners: GOAL, Larkin Street Youth Services, War Child UK, and WITNESS.

Bart Volkmer, Dropbox Foundation president, said, “We’re thrilled to welcome Physicians for Human Rights and Allies Against Slavery as new Dropbox Foundation partners. These organizations have an impressive track record of tackling critical human rights issues in innovative and impactful ways. We look forward to continuing to build trust-based relationships that further their goals and help them make an even bigger impact.”

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.