Human Rights at Home

Human rights matter, everywhere. Our students and faculty are working alongside community partners in Washington state to monitor social trends and analyze local policy impacts in immigration, criminal justice, labor, and health.

Read our latest research memo

Human rights matter, everywhere. Our students and faculty are working alongside community partners in Washington state to monitor social trends and analyze local policy impacts in immigration, criminal justice, labor, and health.

Read our latest research memo

University of Washington faculty and student researchers are redoubling our commitments to human rights in the face of a political climate that threatens our communities and values. We are building connections across our campus and region to identify research projects that will strengthen the work of frontline human rights organizations in Washington State.

Immigrant Rights

In today’s climate of heightened anti-immigrant sentiment, it is increasingly important to understand the way shifting federal policies affect human rights in our communities. Today, the nation contemplates a series of policy and budget proposals that would dramatically augment the resources and authority granted to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) without any corresponding assurance that these agencies will comply with human rights requirements, and without any commitment to public disclosure that would make necessary oversight possible. In light of these developments, and the growing chorus of concerns raised by immigrant communities in our state, it is necessary to gather reliable data on the policies and practices shaping immigration enforcement.

UWCHR’s Human Rights at Home initiative plans a series of reports using freedom of information and public disclosure laws to shed light on research topics identified by community partners on the front lines of immigrant rights struggles in our region.

Don’t Ask, Do Tell: Local Law Enforcement Collaboration with ICE/CBP

A private company writes policy manuals that offer guidelines for local law enforcement’s collaboration with federal immigration agencies. Many of these policies encode potentially unconstitutional practices which may have the effect of funneling Washington state residents into encounters with immigration enforcement. Read the full report here.

Health as a Human Right

"Health Care as a Right of Citizenship: The Continuing Evolution of Reform" by Gunnar Almgren

Gunnar Almgren is a Professor at the UW School of Social Work and a faculty associate of the Center for Human Rights. His timely book Health Care as a Right of Citizenship: The Continuing Evolution of Reform was published in 2017 by Columbia University Press. We spoke with Professor Almgren about the historical and philosophical impetus—and barriers—for fundamental health care reform. Read our interview, “I’m Betting My Life On It”: Prof. Gunnar Almgren on Health Care Reform.

Innovations in Native Health Care Access

Across the United States, recent years have seen growing recognition of the need to explore new models to expand access to health care. While the movement toward fulfilling the promise of health as a human right may have stalled among politicians, Native communities in the Pacific Northwest are forging innovative models in their communities, in ways that may offer valuable insights to the national discussion.

In recent decades, various Native health care systems throughout Washington have transformed how they deliver care by expanding their patient population to include not just tribal members, but the surrounding non-Native community as well. In order to successfully broaden the scope of their health care services, these systems have had to employ creative techniques to address the medical, financial, and administrative issues that come along with expanded services. As a result, many have become the sole providers of care in their communities, and therefore offer a chance to evaluate the potential efficacy of single provider systems in non-urban areas.

This research project, led by CHR Faculty Associate Aaron Katz and MPH student Celia McTigue, is conducted in partnership with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board with support from the UWCHR and other sources. Project collaborators were featured participants in the UWCHR’s annual Spring symposium, “NW Tribal Leadership: Re-envisioning Access to Healthcare” on May 10, 2018.