UCHastings Instagram

Student-Alumni #BOB
Instagram Photo Likes chesc2015, cristalergy, liannemarcella and 24 others like this.
Thursday, August 29, 2013

Prof Karen Musalo on Failed U.S. Policy on Asylum to Escape Sex Trafficking

The legal travails of an Albanian refugee named Johana Cece illustrate a persistent obstacle facing female refugees who have escaped domestic abuse, sex trafficking, or forced marriage in their home countries and made it to the U.S.: Because no presidential administration has ever clearly spelled out how the “particular social group” category applies to women, a woman’s fate usually relies on the whims of the judge hearing her case.

“The lack of guidance has led to some terribly arbitrary decision-making,” said Karen Musalo, the director of the UC Hastings' Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS).

To Musalo and the rest of the refugee advocate community, if the asylum statute were always applied correctly, women would have no trouble convincing judges that they are targeted based on their gender, and that that is grounds for an asylum claim. In fact, clarifying the statute by issuing a new, joint rule from the Department of Justice and Homeland Security is one of the Obama administration’s unmet priorities.

“Female genital cutting—that, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a court that doesn’t think that’s a basis for asylum,” said Simona Agnolucci '06, an intellectual property and commercial attorney who represents women seeking refugee status pro bono. “But in the case of forced marriage, there’s only one circuit court that has recognized that as a form of persecution. Domestic violence is still in flux. Sex-trafficking is still in flux.”

Read the full story from New Republic.

Go to News Archive

Share this Story

Share via Facebook
Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

Other Recent Stories/ RSS

Monday, March 02, 2015

4 Things I learned from Justice Cuellar

2L Anthony Rodriguez reflects on a visit from California Supreme Court Justice Tino Cuellar.
Friday, February 27, 2015

Chancellor & Dean Emerita Mary Kay Kane Elected to Board of IALS

The International Association of Law Schools was founded in 2005 at the behest of legal educators who recognized the growing inter-relationship of norms from transnational legal systems.
Friday, February 27, 2015

Thinkers & Doers: February 27, 2015

UC Hastings community members in the news and making moves February 21, 2015 - February 27, 2015.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Regulating Assisted Living and Senior Real Estate

3L Gordon Chan and 2L Katelyn Phillips are working with the Consortium on research into two key policy issues facing vulnerable older adults in California.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How Law School Prepared 3L Hali Ford to Compete on Survivor

Q & A with 3L Hali Ford, who appears in the 30th season of Survivor, premiering on Wednesday Feb. 25 at 8 pm on CBS.
Go to News Archive