Program on Human Rights and Psychology

PsySRHuman rights violations – including mass killing, torture, ethnic- and gender-based violence, and the suppression of freedom of expression – occur worldwide.

PsySR’s Program on Human Rights and Psychology challenges the psychological processes that initiate, maintain, and legitimize these transgressions. We work to change the institutional policies and practices that perpetuate state-sponsored abuses. As part of this effort, we aim to hold the health and mental health professions accountable to international human rights standards and to our joint ethical commitment to “do no harm.”

The program’s co-coordinators are Stephen Soldz and Jean Maria Arrigo, and they can be reached and respectively.

Program Projects

PsySR’s Program on Human Rights and Psychology engages in activism, advocacy, research, and educational projects. Project descriptions are available HERE, and we encourage members to participate in these efforts.

Join the Program Listserv

One of the valuable benefits of PsySR membership is the opportunity to join any of our program email listservs. Becoming a member of a program listserv enables you to (1) receive regular updates on program activities, projects, and related opportunities, (2) engage in topical discussions and learn from fellow members who share your interests, and (3) participate in planning and carrying out projects.

If you are a PsySR member, you can join the Program on Human Rights and Psychology listserv by signing up online HERE (if you don’t have a Google Groups account, you’ll be asked to create one — this is easy to do with any email address, and please include your first and last name as well).

PsySR Signs Statement Calling for End of U.S. Support for Bahrain’s Repressive Government

PsySR has joined the Campaign for Peace and Democracy in a statement calling for an end to U.S. support for governmental repression in Bahrain, which has included the arrest of health professionals for providing care to wounded protesters. Read the Statement »


PsySR’s Open Letters on PFC Bradley Manning’s Solitary Confinement and Forced Nudity

PsySR has written two open letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressing deep concern over the pretrial detention conditions of alleged Wikileaks source PFC Bradley Manning, including solitary confinement and forced nudity. The first letter (January 3, 2011) can be read HERE, and the second follow-up letter (March 9, 2011) can be read HERE.

PsySR Issues Statement on Catholic Church and Child Abuse

PsySR has issued a statement emphasizing the need for dialogue and justice in response to growing revelations about child abuse within the Catholic Church. Read the Statement »

Program Resources

PsySR’s Program on Human Rights and Psychology offers a range of resources developed by PsySR and its members, including educational and advocacy materials. These resources are available HERE.

Links to Learn More

An alphabetical listing of organizations focused on human rights is available HERE.

PsySRPsySR’s Former End Torture Action Committee

As the End Torture Action Committee, a group of PsySR members have been extensively involved in anti-torture actions in the U.S., including key efforts to change the policies of the American Psychological Association in regard to psychologists’ participation in national security settings such as Guantanamo Bay and CIA “black sites.” A chronology of highlights from their work is is available HERE. These members are now continuing their efforts through projects that are part of the Program on Human Rights and Psychology.