About the Center

Human rights become common standards of achievement for all peoples and all nations only by way of “teaching and education,” according to the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Founded in 1997 as the Human Rights Program, the University of Chicago Pozen Family Center for Human Rights was renamed for the family of supporters Richard and Ann Pozen in June 2014. The PFCHR offers a broad range of innovative interdisciplinary teaching and research initiatives that critically explore the theory and practice of human rights.  

The PFCHR advances the global study of human rights through:

  • Developing a rigorous liberal arts curriculum that combines foundational research with practice-oriented training.
  • Supporting research that brings together all faculties of the university to address the challenges of articulating universal human rights in a world of global inter-connectedness.
  • Organizing programs to enhance the university’s engagement with local, national, and international human rights communities.

The Human Rights Curriculum includes a core sequence introducing philosophical, historical and contemporary understandings of human rights; an undergraduate minor; elective courses with distinct disciplinary, thematic and/or regional perspectives; and a foundational course for graduate students.

The Internship Program provides summer fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students to gain hands-on experience in human rights practice at host organizations in the United States and around the world.

Graduate students in the Humanities and Social Sciences can receive substantial intellectual and financial support through pre-dissertation and dissertation research grants, dissertation completion fellowship, teaching opportunities, internships, and the Graduate Human Rights Workshop

The PFCHR also advances path-breaking human rights research by supporting innovative scholarship and facilitating multi-year initiatives around key human rights questions. Ongoing thematic initiatives include Crisis of Humanitarianism, Health and Human Rights, and Human Rights at Home.

The PFCHR aims to foster a human rights culture at the University of Chicago and in its broader community by hosting public events throughout the year. These conferences, workshops, lectures, performances, and exhibitions bring scholars and practitioners from around the world to campus to explore human rights in theory and practice.