The Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College addresses the increasingly interdisciplinary needs of human rights work. Through multidisciplinary training programs, applied research, and the interaction of scholars with practitioners, the Center aims to nurture a new generation of scholars and practitioners in the United States and abroad who draw upon the strengths of many disciplines, and the wisdom of rigorous ethical training in the attainment of human rights and international justice. The Center is built upon the University's deep religious and ethical tradition of service to others and its broad scholarly reach in graduate programs in Arts & Sciences and professional programs in Law, Business, Education, Social Work, and Nursing.

Distinctive Features of the Center

  • Interdisciplinary Cooperation
  • Integration of Religious Awareness
  • Researcher and Practitioner Collaboration
  • Policy Recommendation Development
  • Professional Training
Challenges to Human Rights and International Justice in the 21st Century
  • In a world that is so deeply aware of its cultural differences, is it still possible to affirm that human rights are truly universal moral standards?
  • What ethical assumptions guide humanitarian aid across political, economic, and cultural borders?
  • What roles can international legal structures and organizations play in a world where right seems increasingly identified with might?
  • What is the ethical and legal significance of national boundaries in the face of calls for intervention across borders to protect human rights, halt ethnic cleansing or genocide, ameliorate humanitarian crises, or promote democracy?
  • How should the well-being of fellow citizens in particular nation-states be weighed in relation to the fundamental human rights of the nearly 65 million refugees and displaced persons in the world today?
  • How does the plight of displaced people affect issues such as the availability of asylum, the ethics and politics of warfare, and the challenges of economic development?
  • How can understanding of the relationship between human rights and culture enable governments, non-governmental organizations, and religious communities to contribute more effectively to promoting reconciliation and building peace in deeply divided societies?
  • How can humanitarian aid interventions more effectively respond to the particular experiences of women and children who now constitute the vast majority of those affected by armed conflict, violence, persecution, and displacement?
  • How does international human rights law relate to national immigration and deportation policies?