Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Harvard Professor Deborah Anker and Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program Win Human Rights Award


It has been announced that Professor Deborah Anker and the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC) will receive a prestigious human rights award from the American Immigration Lawyers Association at its annual meeting in June.

Anker, director of HIRC, will receive the 2015 Arthur C. Helton Human Rights Award. The award is presented by AILA annually in recognition of outstanding service in advancing the cause of human rights. The award was established in 1983 and renamed in 2003 to honor Arthur Helton, the lawyer and human rights activist killed in the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad.

Anker is the author of Law of Asylum in the United States and has co-drafted groundbreaking gender asylum guidelines and amicus curiae briefs. Her work has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and by various international tribunals. She is Senior Researcher for the Refugee Law Initiative, based in London.

Anker is one of the most widely known asylum scholars and practitioners in the United States and a pioneer in the development of clinical legal education in the immigration field, training students in direct representation of refugees and creating a foundation for clinics at law schools around the country.

The Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program has successfully represented hundreds of refugees fleeing human rights abuses, and has authored appellate briefs, shaping the law in such critical areas (in addition to gender asylum) as children’s asylum, asylum for indigenous peoples, and interpretation of key terms such as “persecution” in international and domestic refugee law.


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