Center for International Human Rights (CIHR)

Human Rights Seminar Series 2015-2016

Each academic year, CIHR invites renowned scholars and/or practitioners to address cutting-edge human rights topics. The focus of the 2015-2016 Seminar is on Migration. The focus on migration could not come at a more appropriate time, given the migrant crisis in Europe and the controversies surrounding certain proposals to deal with migratory flows from Latin America in the context of the 2016 US presidential election. At a time when migratory movements call for effective management and international cooperation among countries which claim adherence to norms of non-discrimination and due process, ensuring such effective, as well as legitimate, responses constitutes a key task of democratic and accountable governance. In this context, here are some key focal issues and questions that we would ask participants to address:

 * What are some of the main challenges that the current crisis has posed for the refugee protection regime and how can these be addressed?

*The European Commission’s Agenda on Migration refers to the importance of managing the migration crisis “in all its aspects.” Proposals include the improvement of EU’s skilled labor migration (Blue Card Directive), the creation of asylum camps in north African Countries, and the need for a ‘new model of legal migration.’ What are the prospects for implementing such initiatives and what are the main obstacles facing such implementation?

* How have civil society organizations (CSOs) responded to the needs of migrants? Taking into consideration declining state capacity, how and to what extent have CSOs managed to fill the gap?

* The UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants has called on the EU to create a “coherent and comprehensive migration policy,” making “mobility its central asset.” What would this entail and to what extent is such a proposal feasible given the existing dynamics within the EU?

* Some of the standard policies adopted by states around the world to address irregular migration persist despite the lack of supporting evidence as to their effectiveness. For example, detention does not deter irregular migration, nor does it discourage migrants from seeking asylum. Why do such policies persist? What are the alternatives?

More information on the Fall 2015 series can be found in our Events tab.

Kerry Kennedy Lecture on “Speak Truth to Power” 
Watch our event on April 16th 2015: