Carter Center Mourns the Passing of Human Rights Program Founder Thomas Buergenthal

The Carter Center offers its condolences to the family of Judge Thomas Buergenthal, a leading international human rights lawyer and the founder of the Center’s Human Rights Program.

Judge Buergenthal was a member of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights when he established the Center’s Human Rights Program in 1986. During his tenure, The Carter Center created the Carter-Menil Human Rights Prize, which honored persecuted champions of human rights from Latin-America, Israel and Palestine, Sri Lanka, Haiti, and South Africa. In 1988, Buergenthal convened Caribbean heads of state at The Carter Center in order to create a coordinated effort to promote the American Convention on Human Rights and other human rights instruments in the region.

Judge Buergenthal’s contributions to the establishment of human rights as a set of standards for policymaking are well known and universally admired. The Carter Center is proud to call him the founder of its still-thriving Human Rights Program.