Launching Research Award to Honor Robert Carr's Commitment to Human Rights

Published: December 10, 2013

For immediate release

Toronto, Geneva, New York, Baltimore
December 10, 2013
For many people around the world, Robert Carr’s name is synonymous with human rights. Two and a half years after his sudden death, his legacy as a social justice and HIV activist and advocate for vulnerable communities lives on in memory and actions. 
Robert was particularly passionate about the need for cross-disciplinary research to inform policy and advocacy efforts in the field of HIV. On Human Rights Day 2013, ICASO, Human Rights Watch (HRW), the International AIDS Society (IAS) and the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at John Hopkins University, honor this passion by announcing the Robert Carr Research Award. 
The research award is a continuation of Robert’s vision of collaboration between community organizations, academic researchers and advocates, to advance human rights-based policies and practices in countries where communities disproportionately affected by HIV face discrimination, social rejection, violence and imprisonment, often by government officials and agencies. 
“Robert was an eloquent, and tireless, advocate for human rights as central to our response to the HIV epidemic,” said Joe Amon, director of the health and human rights division at Human Rights Watch.  “He understood that the only way we can achieve an ‘end to AIDS’ is to honestly and courageously confront human rights abuses. This Award will help build the evidence and the understanding to advance rights-based advocacy and programs.”
Robert’s commitment to translating findings from research collaborations between community and academic partners into tangible policy development and advocacy efforts is the driving force behind this prize. “The award complements the Robert Carr Memorial Lecture at the biannual International AIDS Conference as a tribute to his legacy,” said Mary Ann Torres, ICASO’s Executive Director.  At the time of Robert’s death, he was the Director of Advocacy at ICASO, using his position to strengthen research and advocacy on HIV human rights issues.
“Robert’s research collaboration with the Center for Public Health and Human Rights (CPHHR) was particularly rewarding for him. This award continues the collaboration through ICASO’s commitment to making high quality research a priority,” read a statement from his family. 
Human Rights Day is held on December 10 every year; the date the United Nations Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The theme for 2013 is 20 Years: Working for Your Rights. The emphasis is on the future and identifying the challenges that lie ahead– a timely moment to announce the award, as increasingly new epidemiological studies paint a picture of an opportunistic disease that preys on society’s most marginalized and often criminalized people: men who have sex with men, transgender individuals, sex workers, people who use drugs and prisoners. 
“On Human Rights day it is so appropriate that we honor the legacy of a champion of human rights for sexual and gender minorities.  Robert Carr lived the truth that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” said CPHHR Director, and IAS President-Elect, Dr. Chris Beyrer.
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