Thirteenth International Summer School on Mind, Brain and Education

2018 October 16–20

Migrants and Refugees in the 21st Century: Children in and out of schools

Directors of the School:
Kurt W. Fischer, Antonio M. Battro and Sebastián J. Lipina
Director of the Course: Marcelo Suárez Orozco
Program Officer of the School: Lula Majdalani

Bhabha, Jacqueline
Harvard University (USA)

Jacqueline Bhabha, JD, MsC, is Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Director of Research at the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights. From 1997 to 2001, Bhabha directed the Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago. Prior to 1997, she was a practicing human rights lawyer in London and at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. She has published extensively on issues of transnational child migration, refugee protection, children’s rights, and citizenship, and her most recent book entitled, “Can We Solve the Migration Crisis” (Polity Press, 2018). Professor Bhabha currently serves on the board of the Scholars at Risk Network, the World Peace Foundation, the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion, and the Journal of Refugee Studies. She is a frequent adviser to UNHCR, UNICEF, IOM and civil society organizations working on forced migration-related issues.


Children on the move in the 21st Century: Developing a rights based plan of action
As a result of overwhelming evidence of tragedy and widespread rights violations, the fact of very large scale global child migration is no longer hidden or denied. But public attention has not so far altered the underlying legal, social and political context in which distress child migration occurs. Children still have less access to legal, safe and regular migration - the target of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10.7 - than adults, and this is particularly the case for children from socially and economically deprived backgrounds, affected by conflict or other forms of social violence. A rights-based plan of action is urgently required and some elements are already being developed. They include tools for translating the principle of "the best interests of the child" into practical policies for border control agents, child welfare workers, educators, law enforcement officials and others. My presentation will develop some of these points with suggestions about future strategic priorities.