Human Rights Program, UW-Madison

Project on Migration and Human Rights

The current refugee crisis in Europe has highlighted how ill-equipped the international community is to deal with a large influx of refugees and internally displaced peoples fleeing the conflict in Syria. While armed conflicts and generalized violence have generated a large body of both categories across the globe, this is not the only cause of refugee and internally displaced flows and displacement. Large development projects and severe weather events have also given rise to mass displacement (both internal and across borders) and there is consensus that climate change will also give rise to mass displacement of people (as it already has for those in outlying islands). In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recognized in their very first report that the greatest single impact of climate change may be on patterns of human migration. The projected estimates put this number between 20 million to 200 million by 2050. Such a large number of displaced people, whether internally or internationally, could likely to threaten international peace and security.

The current refugee crisis has also highlighted the massive human suffering experienced by the displaced populations. Images of families torn apart, children dying and people living under appalling conditions will haunt the international community for decades. At a time when the international community boasts of unprecedented technological advances, such scenes are an affront to human dignity when large numbers of people are forced to flee situations of violence leaving behind everything, and are forced to live in appalling conditions.

Sub-Themes


This project looks at migration broadly and its impact on human rights from an inter-disciplinary perspective. It will look at sub-themes of gender (vulnerabilities) conflict and violence, climate change, development projects, and immigration and asylum.

Scholars affiliated with the project

We have identified a diverse group of scholars across campus whose existing or emergent research projects overlap with or are centered on questions of migration. This group includes:

  • Sumudu Atapattu (Law School/Nelson Institute, climate change and human rights)
  • Alexandra Huneeus (Law School, human rights law in Latin America)
  • Heinz Klug (Law School)
  • Helen Kinsella (Political Science, Laws of War)
  • Sara Mackinnon (Communication Arts, asylum)
  • Lisa Martin (Political Science, climate change)
  • Scott Straus (Political Science, mass violence in Africa)
  • Aili Tripp (Political Science, Gender Studies, mass violence)
  • Lori DiPrete Brown (Global Health, women, displacement)
  • Karen Solheim (Nursing, global health, migration)

Events

  • Faculty development seminar on human rights and refugees funded by the Center for the Humanities led by Professors Heinz Klug (Law) and Helen Kinsella (Political Science) on going and by invitation

  • November 29, 2016: Professor Tendayi Achiume, cosponsored by the International Relations colloquium of Political Science Department, "The Global Anti-Xenophobia Regime," noon, Lubar Commons (7200 Law)
  • February 7, 2017: Public forum on "Legality of Trump's Executive Order on Immigration," moderated by Professor Alexandra Huneeus. Speakers include: Professor Sara McKinnon (Communication Arts), Prof. Asifa Quraishi-Landes (UW Law) and Prof. Benjamin Harville (UW Law). 4 p.m. in Room 2260 Law

  • March 3, 2017: Academic Forum on "Human Rights and the Trump Presidency" sponsored by the Human Rights Program, GLS and the International Division, Pyle Center, Room 325/326, 1:00-5:00pm.  All are welcome

    Program
    1:00pm             Registration and refreshments
    1:10-1:15         Welcome
    1:15-2:45         Panel on Domestic Issues 
                            Moderator: James Delehanty (UW-IRIS)
                            Speakers:
                            Ben Harville (UW Law)
                            Dan Hausman (UW Philosophy)
                            Asifa Quraishi-Landes (UW Law)
                            Richard Monette (UW Law)
                            Carolina Sarmiento (UW Human Ecology)
    2:45-3:00         Break
    3:00-4:15         Panel on International Issues
                            Moderator: Scott Straus (UW Political Science)
                            Speakers:
                            Alexandra Huneeus (UW Law)
                            Sumudu Atapattu (UW Law)
                            Sara McKinnon (UW Communication Arts)
                            Nancy Kendall (UW Education)
    4:15-4:45          Informal reception
  • March 31, 2017: the Wisconsin International Law Journal annual symposium on the theme “Regional Human Rights Systems in Crisis." Details

  • April 3-6, 2017: UW-Madison's Public Interest Law Foundation's Community Justice week on the theme Immigration, co-sponsored by HRP

    Monday, April 3rd, 12:00-1:00 pm: Mayor Paul Soglin of the City of Madison will be speaking in Room 2260 of the Law School. Mayor Soglin will present on immigration issues in the Madison community with a discussion to follow. Coffee and snacks will be provided.

    Tuesday, April 4th, 12:00-1:00 pm: Attorney Shabnam Lotfi of Lotfi Legal LLC will be speaking in Room 3250 of the Law School. Attorney Lotfi will present on her experiences with clients impacted by the Executive Order, specifically nationals of Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen, with a discussion to follow. Lunch will be provided.

    Wednesday, April 5th, 12:00-1:00 pm: Students of UW-PILF and the Immigration Justice Clinic will be tabling in the Law School Atrium providing information on the Clinic to those interested in learning more about its services.

    Thursday, April 6th, 12:00-1:00 pm: UW-Madison Professor Sara McKinnon will be speaking in Room 3250 of the Law School. Professor McKinnon will present on 'Refugees in America: Historical and Contemporary Issues' with a discussion to follow. Lunch will be provided.

  • April 17, 2017: Professor Shobha Whadia, Penn State University will speak at the Immigrant Justice week sponsored by the Latino Law Students Association and co-sponsored by HRP
  • April 18, 2017: "Workshop on Human Rights and Migration in Wisconsin," Pyle Center, Room 2260

    Program

    2:00              Registration and refreshments

    2:15-3:30      Panel 1 – Refugees, immigrants and rights
                         Moderator: Alexandra Huneeus
                         Speakers: Sara McKinnon, Jennifer Taylor, Armando Ibarra, Lucas
                         Wiscons

    3:30-3:45       Break

    3:45-5:00       Panel 2 – Migration and communities in WI
                          Moderator: Stephen Young
                          Speakers: Zon Moua (Freedom Inc), Laura Minero, Jared Prado

  • April 27, 2017: "Women Lead the Way: From Violence to Non-Violence, from Greed to Sharing, From Hate to Love,"  The J. Jobe and Marguerite Jacqmin Soffa lecture delivered by Dr Vandana Shiva, India 4pm, Alumni Lounge, Pyle Center (followed by an informal reception), for details visit here.
    This serves as the keynote address of the 4W summit.
  • May 5-6, 2017: Conference titled “Social and Political Dimension of Climate Change” hosted by Helen Kinsella and Lisa Martin (Political Science), panel on migration, details pending



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