Dear friends of PHR,
As we publish the Physicians for Human Rights 2019 Annual Report, we are many weeks into one of the greatest global public health crises of the last century. One thing that we’ve learned in these very challenging times is that there’s so much we don’t know about the COVID-19 pandemic and the long-term impacts it will have on our lives and institutions.
What we do know is that Physicians for Human Rights’ (PHR) work is more critical than ever. The coronavirus crisis has highlighted squarely the central issues that PHR wrestles with every day: the critical importance of using science-based approaches, of protecting health workers, and of safeguarding the human rights of all people, but most particularly women and children, immigrants, refugees, detainees, and other populations at risk. As the pandemic erupted, PHR pivoted to bring the full force of our partnerships and global networks of medical professionals to address the COVID-19 crisis on many fronts, demanding protection for frontline health workers, advocating for migrant children and families at the U.S. border, in U.S. detention, and in refugee settings, and mobilizing the public and the medical community to insist that human rights be respected amidst the unfolding public health emergency.
Throughout the year, we continued to amplify the voices of health experts and scientists working at the intersection of medicine, science, and human rights, and to advocate on behalf of desperate asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, health professionals and civilians under attack in Syria and Yemen, survivors of sexual violence in the DRC and Kenya, and many others. In the face of ongoing assaults on human rights, we are keeping these issues in the eye of policymakers and the public and moving the needle on accountability and justice.
PHR’s work is urgently needed, as never before. Thank you for helping us to support the courageous medical professionals and human rights defenders who dedicate their lives to upholding human rights for all.
Donna McKay, Executive Director
Alan K. Jones, Board Chair
Read the Physicians for Human Rights 2019 Annual Report.