The Pedro Arrupe Human Rights Institute's work is divided into three broad action programmes that address its academic nature and vocation to make an impact on society.
- Education and Training Programme: The Institute intends to expand knowledge on topics related to human rights and humanitarian action through this programme while training agents and experts capable of intervening to promote them in a professional competent manner.
- Research programme: This programme looks to extend analysis and knowledge of human rights through research projects that shed light on reflection of said topics. The aim is to contribute with relevant innovations for the different sciences from the human rights perspective.
- Dissemination and Social Impact Programme: This programme aims to extend a culture of assimilation and respect for human rights, reporting violations or social injustice, encouraging serious social reflection and debate on political or social aspects that are relevant for human rights. The programme includes participation in promoting and protecting human rights either through direct actions held by the Institute or offering its technical services to prompt other bodies such as public institutions or non-governmental organisations to engage.
As part of its general programmes, the Institute holds a number of activities related to all aspects of human rights. However, the Institute's main tasks centre on some priority areas that include its key human rights issues.
These areas focus on intervention in:
- Human rights and humanitarian action
- Human rights and cultural diversity
- Migrations, integration and social cohesion
- Research methods in human rights