Human rights abuses can spur violent conflict, or vice-versa. Effective protection of human rights underpins the legitimate governance and rule of law that establish the conditions for a state to resolve conflicts and grievances without violence. The U.S. Institute of Peace provides grants, fellowships, education and publications to deepen understanding of the critical role of human rights protection in preventing and managing violence.

Featured Publications

Amid Humanitarian Crisis, Syrian Regime Intensifies Idlib Offensive

Amid Humanitarian Crisis, Syrian Regime Intensifies Idlib Offensive

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

By: Mona Yacoubian

Since December 1, the Assad regime—backed by Russia and Iranian-allied militias—has intensified its military offensive on Idlib, one of the last remaining rebel strongholds in Syria. The regime’s escalating attacks have spurred massive civilian displacement, deepening international concerns about an impending humanitarian catastrophe. Alarmed by the mounting violence, Turkey has broadened its military involvement in Idlib as well. USIP’s Mona Yacoubian examines the impact of the Syrian regime’s latest offensive on Idlib.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Human Rights

Where Public Health and Peacebuilding Converge

Where Public Health and Peacebuilding Converge

Thursday, January 16, 2020

By: Fouad Pervez; Chris Bosley

In many ways, peacebuilding and public health are kindred disciplines in that they both require whole-of-society approaches to succeed. But while both disciplines share similar traits, the relationship between peacebuilding and public health is often overlooked. In any country, public health services such as healthcare facilities, water sanitation, and accessible medicine are critical for citizens’ welfare. But in fragile or conflict-affected states, these services become even more important—serving as a foundation for healing and stability throughout a peace process. To examine this important dynamic, USIP’s Fouad Pervez and Chris Bosley look at three situations where the goals of peacebuilding and public health are intertwined.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Human Rights; Violent Extremism

Escape from ISIS: One Family’s Story

Escape from ISIS: One Family’s Story

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

By: Fred Strasser

The horrific story of ISIS’s bid to wipe out Iraq’s Yazidi minority is fairly well known in the United States. At least in broad terms, Americans who pay attention to such things understand that the terrorist group’s fanatical gunmen rolled in on a defenseless people, butchered men and boys by the thousands and hauled away young women into sexual slavery in a genocidal plan.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Human Rights; Violent Extremism

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Current Projects

Preventing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

Preventing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

Conflict-related sexual violence is increasingly recognized as not only a weapon of war, but a threat to international peace and security. In 2012, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), the Human Rights Center at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law, and Women in International Security (WIIS), launched the Missing Peace Initiative to examine the issue of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict settings...

Gender; Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Human Rights

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