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          Thursday, January 17, 2013

          Center for Gender & Refugee Studies Recognized with Grant from MacArthur Foundation

          The Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS) at UC Hastings College of the Law has received a $100,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to further its nationally-recognized, groundbreaking work protecting the rights of women, children, and LGBT refugees worldwide.

          The funds from the MacArthur Foundation’s Migration Program will support the CGRS project called “Protecting the Most Vulnerable by Promoting Immigration Policies Based on the Best Interests of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children.” The project’s goal is to better identify the root causes of child migrant flows into the United States and to improve protections for these children. CGRS will collect and analyze data in children’s immigration cases in order to understand the challenges these children face in seeking immigration relief. This data will support individual children’s cases and help to develop positive jurisprudence in children’s cases. It will result in policy proposals that will have an impact at the national and international levels.

          “We are thrilled to receive this support to deepen our work on unaccompanied migrant children,” said CGRS Director Karen Musalo, “and we look forward to identifying key barriers to protection and developing policy recommendations that make the best interests of the children paramount in decision-making.”

          The project also includes:  

          • Training and support for nonprofit and private pro bono attorneys who represent children seeking asylum and other forms of relief to ensure that they have access to the most up-to-date information.
          • Providing legal consultation, expert declarations, practice advisories, and up-to-date country conditions reports.  
          • Monitoring developments and results in children’s cases to obtain and analyze data regarding procedural and substantive gaps in protection.
          • Becoming involved in cases that have the potential to set precedent and thereby develop the law on asylum for children.
          • Developing policy recommendations and educating policymakers and stakeholders on how to ensure the best interests of unaccompanied child immigrants.

          The MacArthur Foundation’s Migration Program Area aims to improve conditions for vulnerable migrants, while supporting research and analysis that will lay the groundwork for fundamental improvements in migration policies and practices at the national, regional, and global levels.

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