United States

To request an evaluation, please see: Information for Attorneys

Human Rights Clinic

Each year, thousands of HRC Event Photosurvivors of torture and other human rights abuses flee persecution in their home countries, seeking asylum and other protections in the United States. As many as 1.3 million survivors of torture are currently living in communities across the U.S., often hidden in plain sight.

Through its Human Rights Clinic (HRC), HealthRight International provides critical forensic evaluations and case management services to immigrants in the U.S. who are fleeing torture and other severe abuses. In recent years, our services have been essential in helping to stabilize the lives of vulnerable immigrant populations including:

  • Unaccompanied migrant children fleeing gang violence, abuse and neglect in their home countries
  • Women and children escaping severe domestic abuse
  • Sexual and gender minorities escaping persecution in countries where homophobia and transphobia are rampant, and where being LGBT is itself a crime
  • Political activists who have been tortured, humiliated and abused for their beliefs
  • Survivors of human trafficking who have been exploited and abused in their home countries and in the U.S.
  • Women and girls who have suffered – or are fleeing their home countries to avoid – female genital cutting or mutilation

The HRC recruits, trains and client1provides ongoing support to a network of volunteer physicians and mental health professionals who conduct evaluations to document physical and psychological signs of torture for survivors in immigration proceedings. These evaluations are often the deciding factor in whether a survivor is able to achieve safety, stability and a life free of torture and abuse in the U.S. Through its Access to Support and Services for Survivors of Torture (ASSIST) program, the HRC simultaneously works to ensure that survivors have access to critical follow-up medical, psychological and social services that they need to rebuild their lives in a new country.

Founded in the Bronx in 1993 in partnership with the North Central Bronx Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center’s Residency Program in Primary Care and Social Internal Medicine, HealthRight’s HRC has since expanded to operate in 12 locations around the country: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington State. The HRC is a proud member of the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs.

Since its inception, the HRC has:

  • Trained over 1,500 physicians and mental health professionals to provide forensic evaluations and document signs of torture in survivors seeking asylum and other protections in the U.S.;
  • Provided forensic evaluations to over 5,000 survivors of torture and other gross human rights abuses from 130 countries;
  • Connected hundreds of HRC clients to needed medical, psychological, social and other services throughout the U.S.

The HRC 11.01.03 JH HRC 9relies on a dedicated and passionate team of volunteers and interns. Volunteer clinicians provide essential forensic services to immigrant survivors across the U.S. All clinicians are required to attend a training prior to volunteering. Internship opportunities are available at headquarters in New York City.

If you are an attorney interested in referring a client to the HRC for our services, see Information for Attorneys

2015/6 Legal Partner Supporters of the Human Rights Clinic

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Latham & Watkins LLP
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Proskauer Rose LLP
Reed Smith LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Gibbs Houston Pauw
Hofstra Law School
Law Offices of Elizabeth M. Barna
Law Offices of Neftalem Habtemariam
Law Offices of Ashok K. Karmaker, P.C.
Law Offices of Linda Kenepaske, PLLC
The Law Office of Meri S. Ponist
Law Office of Patrick Wang