UW Center for Human Rights Core Programs


The UW Center for Human Rights' current projects and activities are concentrated around four core program areas.  We seek partnerships with community organizations, individuals, faculty members, students, and other stakeholders who are interested in supporting and furthering human rights in these areas.


Click the hyperlinked titles for more information on each of our programs!


Human Rights and the Environment

Our Human Rights and the Environment program operates under the premise that there are important connections between the responsible management of natural resources and the welfare of human populations dependent on those resources; particularly where economic and social factors exacerbate the vulnerability of both the environment and people. The goal of this program is to ameliorate detrimental environmental conditions that threaten the rights of human populations.

Human rights tools and lenses are increasingly being applied to questions of environmental justice. UW CHR is at the forefront of this cutting edge approach. Through our projects and activities we seek to determine who is accountable when environmental threats such as climate change, flooding, desertification, destruction of wetlands, etc. lead to human rights violations such as food insecurity, lack of access to water, and forced migration. In close collaboration with project partners, UW CHR's teams seek accountability and practical solutions.


UW Student, Geoff Morgan, tests water near one of our partner communities while local children watch during a 2011 trip in connection with our Human Rights and Natural Resource Management Project in Guatemala


Human Rights, History, and Justice

UW CHR’s work on Human Rights, History, and Justice focuses on documenting atrocities by states and extrajudicial institutions against people within their borders, often during periods of conflict. Human Rights violations such as genocide, torture, and mass rape are even more detrimental to victims whose calls for justice go unheeded. In helping document these atrocities and making certain that victims’ accounts are part of the historical record, UW CHR lends critical support and substantiating data to those who seek justice.



Human Rights and Education

Housed at a world-renown university, UW CHR's Human Rights and Education program benefits from all of our program areas. Our project teams often include UW students, faculty, and staff. Consequently, each project provides an unparalleled educational opportunity in human rights to all participants. Our associated faculty are also integral to this program area as their research and teaching enriches our community's understanding of human rights. Additionally, CHR sponsors and co-sponsors colloquia, lectures, panels, and celebrations aimed at educating the university and the broader community about human rights-related issues.

Beyond the university and Seattle, several projects and initiatives under this program area focus on ensuring the right to education. Among these are student projects supported by one of our two endowed funds.


Human Rights Day Celebration in December 2011 at UW Bothell.  Student human rights-related work is featured in posters along the perimeter of the room.


Human Rights at Home

Acknowledging the importance of protecting human rights locally as well as abroad, UW CHR partners with organizations, groups, and individuals in Washington to help safeguard the human rights of those living in Washington State.


 Photo of a farm in one of the communities where testimonies were gathered in connection to our Northern Border Project.



Center for Human Rights
University of Washington
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195

Angelina Snodgrass Godoy
Helen H. Jackson Endowed Chair in Human Rights
Director, Center for Human Rights

Gai-Hoai T. Nguyen
Assistant Director, Center for Human Rights