Join us for a talk with Susan Akram, Director, International Human Rights Clinical Program, Boston University School of Law, as she discusses her research on the legal issues that are creating barriers to relief and protection for refugees fleeing Syria. Boston University graduate students Aaron Lang, Sarah Bidinger and Danielle Hites will join Professor Akram with country-specific presentations on Egypt, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, respectively.

About the Research:

The International Human Rights Clinical Program at the Boston University School of Law has completed a two-year research project focusing on the legal issues and problems that are creating barriers to relief and protection for refugees fleeing Syria. The report focuses on the international and regional legal instruments that govern the rights of and obligations towards this refugee flow in the most-affected states: Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. The report addresses weaknesses in the existing legal framework within and among the states in which most of the Syrian refugees are seeking refuge, but is oriented towards wider responsibility sharing of the refugee flow. The BU clinic team will launch its findings at this event and make recommendations addressing the host states in the Middle East; the U.S.; Europe and the United Nations agencies involved based on the shared legal obligations towards the refugees. Moving away from the existing "containment" paradigm of the Western states towards the refugees from Syria, this report highlights legally-required burden sharing and mutual obligations of the host and third states towards refugees from Syria, including Palestinians and other non-Syrian nationals caught up in the crisis.

About Susan Akram:

Susan Akram is Clinical Professor at Boston University School of Law and directs the School's International Human Rights Clinical Program. She has been on the faculty at BU law school since 1993, supervising in the Civil Litigation Program, then in the Asylum and Human Rights clinic, and teaching immigration law, international human rights law, refugee law and pre-trial and trial advocacy. She specializes in refugee and forced migration issues, particularly refugees in the Middle East, and has taught at Al-Quds university law school in East Jerusalem, at the American University in Cairo, and at Oxford's Refugee Studies Centre. The Boston University Law School Human Rights Clinical program engages in international human rights litigation and advocacy in both domestic and international fora, including US courts, the UN human rights mechanisms, and regional human rights mechanisms. The clinic's projects include issues involving human rights in Tibet, Palestine, Haiti and Western Sahara.