Health & Human Rights Program


young girl looking away


Drawing from Berkeley’s cutting-edge expertise, the Health and Human Rights Program seeks to improve the health and protection of some of the world’s most marginalized populations – those impacted by humanitarian crises, forced displacement, or violence. Currently, the program focuses on improving our understanding of the health impacts of exploitation on the lives of marginalized adolescents to inform the design of youth-centered sexual and reproductive health services, gender-based violence programming, and other interventions tailored to meet their needs.

Using innovative methods and intense technical assistance, our staff design and implement applied research, partnering with leading local and international organizations to develop new tools, guidelines, and interventions that can improve health and save lives.


The program has three completed or ongoing projects:

  • Supporting Youth at Risk of Commercial Sexual Exploitation (2019-ongoing): In partnership with the City of San Francisco’s Department on the Status of Women, Freedom Forward, and other Bay Area-based service providers, we will develop and evaluate an innovative family-based foster care pilot designed to serve youth who have experienced or are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation.
  • Preventing Child Marriage in Humanitarian Settings (2018-ongoing): In partnership with Save the Children and Plan International, this multi-year research initiative aims to generate new evidence and pilot interventions to prevent child marriage in humanitarian emergencies.
  • Safer Cash Programming in Emergencies (2017-2018): The USAID-funded “Safer Cash” project, in partnership with the International Rescue Committee, provided humanitarian practitioners with research and tools to make cash programming safer for some of the most vulnerable groups in emergencies, including people with disabilities, older people, and female-heads of households. 

refugee camp in Bangladesh


We have published many studies, working papers, and more related to health and human rights. All of our publications can be found here.

Toward an End to Child Marriage Report Cover
Sexual exploitation of unaccompanied migrant and refugee boys in Greece: Approaches to prevention
Sexual violence against men and boys in conflict and forced displacement: implications for the health sector