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Declaration on the Rights of Expelled and Deported Persons

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The Declaration on the Rights of Expelled or Deported Persons, developed by the Boston College Post-Deportation Human Rights Project, seeks to define basic procedural and substantive rights for persons who have been expelled by various coercive mechanisms. It describes the corresponding responsibilities of both sending and receiving states. Most significantly, the Declaration recognizes expelled or deported individuals as a cognizable legal class of people with specific, enforceable rights claims that go beyond current immigration laws in many countries. The drafters’ main goal is to inspire positive, pragmatic responses from nation-states, international bodies, NGOs, and other concerned parties. The necessity of such a Declaration derives from the drafters’ concern that millions of expelled or deported individuals have faced a wide variety of often quite severe human rights abuses, including harsh treatment during deportation, loss of personal belongings and documents, lack of proper medical care, prolonged or permanent family separation, and severe social stigma.[1][2][3] Many have been left with no recourse either in the country from which they have been removed or the country to which they have been sent.

Background Edit

The Post-Deportation Human Rights Project, founded in 2006 by Professors Daniel Kanstroom, M. Brinton Lykes, Donald Hafner, and David Hollenbach, SJ at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice of Boston College, aims to conceptualize an entirely new area of law. The Project’s current staff attorney, Jessica Chicco, provides direct representation to individuals who have been deported. The Project promotes the rights of US deportees and their family members through research, policy analysis, human rights advocacy, and training programs. The ultimate aim of the Project is to advocate, in collaboration with affected families and communities, for fundamental changes that will introduce proportionality, compassion, and respect for family unity into US immigration laws and bring these laws into compliance with international human rights standards. The Declaration builds on the project's work to advance such fundamental notions as proportionality, family unity, and fairness into the deportation context.

Text of the Declaration Edit

The current text of the Declaration (a work-in-progress) can be viewed here. It includes articles on general principles of nondiscrimination and protection for particularly vulnerable individuals, as well as provisions relating to travel and reception, reintegration, continued access to legal proceedings in the sending country, and respect for family unity.

Drafting Process Edit

Two drafting conferences were hosted by the Boston College Post-Deportation Human Rights Project (PDHRP) relating to this Declaration. The first, in November 2012, was a roundtable[4] with immigration and human rights experts and stakeholders to discuss the need and potential scope of the Declaration. In May 2014, the PDHRP, with support from the Clough Center, hosted a second major conference of scholars, activists, leaders of non-governmental organizations, and former government officials at the Connors Center in Dover, Massachusetts, to discuss the wisdom of the enterprise, and then to brainstorm how to improve upon—and to proceed towards publication and implementation of—the Declaration.[5] Participants considered the moral, political, and legal bases upon which expelled people could claim enforceable rights, the content of those rights, and the obligations of “sending” and “receiving” states.

Additional Information Edit

The Post-Deportation Human Rights Project will soon be launching a space to encourage people of all backgrounds – including scholars, researchers, individuals who have been personally affected by deportation – to comment, share information, exchange ideas, and brainstorm about next steps. Once the site has been created, a link will be available here.

Participants at Drafting Conferences Edit

  • Donald Anthonyson, Families for Freedom
  • David Baluarte, Washington and Lee University, School of Law
  • Seyla Benhabib, Yale University
  • Jacqueline Bhabha, Harvard University
  • Gabriel Camacho, American Friends Service Committee
  • Jennifer Chacon, University of California – Irvine
  • Jessica Chicco, Boston College – Center for Human Rights & International Justice
  • Marlon Cifuentes, Olneyville Neighborhood Association
  • Marla Conrad, Kino Border Initiative
  • Nicholas De Genova, King’s College, London
  • Katie Dingeman-Cerda, University of California – Irvine
  • Matthew Gibney, University of Oxford
  • Tanya Golash-Boza, University of California – Merced
  • Michael Gordon, University of the West Indies – Jamaica
  • Elspeth Guild, Radboud University of Nijmegen
  • Barbara Harrell-Bond, Fahamu Refugee Programme
  • Dina Haynes, New England School of Law
  • Bernard Headley, University of the West Indies – Jamaica
  • David Hollenbach, Boston College – Center for Human Rights & International Justice
  • Mary Holper, Boston College Law School
  • Kari Hong, Boston College Law School
  • Daniel Kanstroom, Boston College Law School– Center for Human Rights & International Justice
  • Michelle Karshan, Chans Altenativ
  • Don Kerwin, Center for Migration Studies
  • Tamar Lawrence-Samuel, Corporate Accountability International
  • Arjen Leerkes, Erasmus University, Rotterdam
  • Steve Legomsky, Washington University School of Law
  • Hope Lewis, Northeastern University School of Law
  • Brinton Lykes, Boston College – Center for Human Rights & International Justice
  • David Martin, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Ryan McManus, Hemenway & Barnes
  • Grace Meng, Human Rights Watch
  • Carlota Moctezuma, Immigration Advocates
  • Melissa Moeinvaziri, University of Oxford
  • Nancy Morawetz, New York University School of Law
  • Hiroshi Motomura, UCLA School of Law
  • Laura Murray-Tjan, Boston College Law School
  • Serena Parekh, Northeastern University
  • Wendy Ramirez, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
  • Ronaldo Rauseo-Ricupero, Nixon Peabody LLC
  • Trina Realmuto, National Immigration Project
  • Christy Rodriguez, Ropes & Gray
  • Rachel Rosenbloom, Northeastern University School of Law
  • Rubén Rumbaut, University of California – Irvine
  • Laura Schaefer, Benjamin Cardozo School of Law
  • Telma Silva, Centre for Social Sciences of the University of the Azores
  • Anita Sinha, American University Washington College of Law
  • Serge Slama, Université Évry-Val d'Essonne
  • Justine Stefanelli, Radboud University of Nijmegen
  • Jacqueline Stevens, Northwestern University
  • Juliet Stumpf, Lewis & Clark Law School

External links Edit


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