Fact Finding Investigations – we have sent fact finding missions to document violations of Human Rights in various corners of the world including Kashmir, Palestine, Egypt, Ngorno Karabakh, the former Yugoslavia, Kuwait, South Africa and Thailand. In 1994 DHR was one of only two Human Rights organisations to document massacres from within Rwanda itself as the genocide took place. DHR‘s findings are presented to governments and the media, and used to advocate on behalf of victims before the United Nations in Geneva and elsewhere.
Seeks to Improve Health and Human Rights Measures at National and International Levels – for example, due in large part to work by DHR, the United Nations Secretary General appointed a Special Advisor on Genocide Prevention, and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights created the post of Special Rapporteur on the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health.
Health Rights – another area within which DHR is highly active is Health Rights. We regularly hold conferences, courses and legal briefings on these and are invited to participate in closed meetings of international experts to explore both international and domestic measures to enhance Health Rights.
Enhancing States’ Adherence to their Human Rights Obligations – DHR works regularly with the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the United Nations Committee against Torture. This has led to both Committees making recommendations to Governments on how they could better fulfil their obligations.
Representation – DHR is often called upon to monitor detainees whose Health might be at risk. We recently made representations on behalf of thirteen detainees who were held without charge for three years in Belmarsh in conditions that have caused each of them to develop mental illness.
Education – DHR is the foremost teacher of Health and Human Rights in the UK. Activities in this area have included the development of a free internet teaching module in Medicine and Human Rights for medical students, evening courses in central London for non-government organisations, health professionals and the general public and taught modules for medical students.
Investigation of Medical Participation in Human Rights Violations – DHR has monitored the activities of doctors who are complicit in torture in various corners of the world and have sought to bar them from employment or have them prosecuted. DHRs’ editorial in the British Medical Journal in 2004 was the first to alert the international medical community to medical complicity in torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay detention centres.