Julie Freccero is the Director of the Health and Human Rights Program. She launched this program in 2017, which aims to improve the health and protection of marginalized populations affected by humanitarian crises, forced displacement, and violence. Her current projects are aimed at preventing the exploitation of youth through community partnerships, applied research, and innovative pilot interventions. These include research on child marriage drivers and decision-making factors in South Sudanese and Syrian refugee communities, and a collaboration with Bay Area service providers to design and evaluate a family-based foster care pilot for youth who are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation in San Francisco.
Julie brings over ten years of experience in gender-based violence, reproductive health, and women’s empowerment research, programming, and advocacy.As a specialist in addressing gender-based violence in emergencies, Julie led the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) response to gender-based violence against refugees and migrants in camps and urban settings in Greece in 2016. Prior to this experience, Julie served as the Associate Director of the Sexual Violence Program at the Human Rights Center where she led research addressing refugee protection, health sector responses to sexual violence, and human trafficking in humanitarian settings.
Julie also held the position of Program Officer for Violence against Women at the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in Tanzania, where she managed the agency’s programming and advocacy initiatives to improve protection and support services for survivors. In collaboration with the Population Council, she also evaluated reproductive health voucher programs in rural Cambodia. As a New York City Urban Fellow, Julie planned and evaluated jail-based health programs and reentry services available to individuals incarcerated on Rikers Island for the NYC Department of Correction.
Julie’s public health research and practice have focused on promoting health and rights of refugees and migrants, justice-involved youth, and survivors of human trafficking. Julie has published numerous articles and reports on under-researched issues including preventing the sexual exploitation of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children, preventing child marriage in humanitarian emergencies, and safer cash programming for vulnerable populations in conflict settings. She has conducted research in refugee and internally displaced communities in Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Greece, Serbia, Malaysia, and along the Thailand-Myanmar border. She holds a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Health and Social Behavior from UC Berkeley.