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book cover showing image of man at a Child Friendly Space in Azraq camp in JordanThis seminar brings together experts from the United States, Australia, and China to discuss the legal protection of vulnerable migrants, particularly children and persons with disabilities.

With unprecedented numbers of children on the move in search of safety, the editors/authors of Protecting Migrant Children explore the complex legal and human rights issues that arise when children cross borders as migrants. They critically examine the strengths and weaknesses of international and domestic laws with the aim of identifying best practice for migrant children.

In their new book, published by Edward Elgar Publishing, Professor Benson and Professor Crock have brought together an interdisciplinary and multinational group of experts to assess the nature and root causes of child migration in different parts of the world, featuring national and comparative case studies in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America.

In this seminar, the book editors (Benson & Crock) and contributor (Zou) examine the many challenges experienced and posed by young people who cross borders in search of protection or a better quality of life. Identifying the many universal issues facing states who play host to these children, they look at the new paradigms in law, policy and practice that are emerging in the reception and management of child migrants, refugees and victims of trafficking.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided, with thanks to the Skadden Oxford Chinese Law Discussion Group.

The speakers

Lenni B Benson is a Professor of Law at New York Law School. In 2012, she founded the Safe Passage Project, a non-profit organization that has aided over 1,500 unaccompanied youth by recruiting and mentoring pro bono counsel. She is a member of several national task forces on the needs of migrant youth, and has been a speaker for the federal government at national trainings. In 2012 she completed, with Russell Wheeler, a study of the immigration courts for the Administrative Conference of the United States. She has won many honors and served in leadership positions related to her work in immigration law. Her book Immigration and Nationality Law: Problems and Strategies (with Curcio, Jeffers and Yale-Loehr) was published by LexisNexis in 2013 and is annually updated by Carolina Academic Press.

Mary Crock has worked in the area of immigration and refugee law since 1985. She is Professor of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney. An Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law, she has been Chief Examiner/Head Assessor in various Specialist Accreditation programs in Immigration Law across Australia since 1994 and has been listed in the peer-appointed publication Best Lawyers in Australia in Immigration Law every year since 2008. She has written extensively on issues related to immigration and refugee law, authoring 13 books, 32 book chapters and 35 refereed articles. Her books and edited collections include a seminal text on migration law, now in a second edition: Immigration, Refugees and Forced Migration: Law, Policy and Practice in Australia (2011) (with Laurie Berg). In 2006 her work on unaccompanied children (see Seeking Asylum Alone: Unaccompanied and Separated Children and Refugee Protection in Australia (2006) and (2007, comparative report), saw her shortlisted for the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Medal In 2012. Her work was recognised by the Migration Institute of Australia through the grant of the Henry Giblett Award for outstanding contribution in the area of education; in December 2015 with the award of the inaugural NEDA Medal by the National Ethnic Disability Alliance; and in 2016 with the Affinity Intercultural Foundation Award for Contributions to Social Justice and Human Rights. Her most recent monograph relates to a six-country study of refugees with disabilities. See Mary Crock, Laura Smith-Khan, Ben Saul and Ron McCallum The Legal Protection of Refugees with Disabilities: Forgotten and Invisible? (Elgar Publishing, 2017). An edited text, Mary Crock and Lenni Benson (eds) Protecting Migrant Children: In Search of Best Practice (Elgar Publishing) was published in September 2018.  

Dr Mimi Zou is the inaugural Fangda Career Development Fellow in Chinese Commercial Law at the University of Oxford. Dr Zou obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in Law and Bachelor of Civil Law (Distinction) degrees from St John's College and Christ Church, University of Oxford. She also has first class honours degrees in Law, Economics, and Social Sciences (University Medal) from the University of Sydney. Dr Zou is a qualified solicitor in England and Wales and lawyer in New South Wales (Australia). She has held academic positions and fellowships at Columbia University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Utrecht University, and Sydney University. Dr Zou has published over 40 articles and book chapters in the areas of Chinese, international and comparative employment, migration, and contract law. She won the prestigious International Association of Labour Law Journals Marco Biagi Prize in 2016. Dr Zou has also worked in a number of international law firms, international organisations, and civil service in Asia-Pacific and Europe for over 15 years.

Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

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Forthcoming events

A celebration of the life of David Turton

Saturday, 20 July 2024, 2pm to 3pm @ The Crypt Cafe, St Peters Church, Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4DA