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OCR Mission & Vision


As a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services law enforcement agency, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) ensures compliance with our nation’s civil rights, conscience and religious freedom, and health information privacy and security laws by investigating complaints and conducting compliance reviews, requiring corrective and remedial action, promulgating policy and regulations, and providing technical assistance and public education for the American people.


OCR enforces civil rights and conscience and religious freedom laws, and protects the privacy, security, and availability of individuals’ health information. Through these mechanisms, OCR helps to ensure equal access to health and human services, protects the exercise of religious beliefs and moral convictions by individuals and institutions participating in HHS programs, protects individuals’ health information, gives tools for provider awareness and full engagement of individuals in decisions related to their health care, and advances the health and well-being of all Americans.

Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on October 8, 2019