Thursday, December 8, 2011

Introducing: The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights

We’re writing to let you know that the Immigrant Child Advocacy Project (ICAP) has a new name: The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. The new name reflects the scope of our work, eight years since inception: serving as Child Advocate (best interests guardian ad litem) for unaccompanied children in Chicago, South Texas and select cases around the country. The mission remains the same, to promote the best interests—safety, permanency and well-being—of unaccompanied immigrant children according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and state and federal child protection laws.

The new name, The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, pays tribute to the children we serve by naming the organization after one of our first clients. Young Zheng was smuggled by ruthless traffickers from China at the age of 14, and was expected to work off a debt of $60,000. In fear for his life, Young endured more than two years of legal battles to remain in the United States. His Child Advocate stood by his side, fought for his release and against his deportation. Today, Young Zheng is a lawful permanent resident and college student. He has graciously lent his name to this organization.

 Through the extraordinary service of our law students, social work students and volunteers, we have served as Child Advocate for hundreds of unaccompanied children. We will continue to do this work on behalf of individual children and we will also continue to advocate for the rights of immigrant children—trafficking victims, unaccompanied children, children in state proceedings—to ensure their voices are heard and that decision makers receive information about their best interests.

KJ

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