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Center for the Human Rights of Children

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Association for a More Just Society (AJS) Talk by Director of Operations Jill VanBeek

Association for a More Just Society (AJS) Talk

During our Child Migrant conference, author and panelist Sonia Nazario mentioned the efforts of The Association for a More Just Society (AJS) to improve the living conditions in Honduras.  Jill VanBeek, Director of Operations for AJS, will provide an overview of the organization on Loyola's Water Tower Campus on Wednesday, December 10 from 9:30-10:30am. AJS is a Christian organization that fights to stand up for victims of violence, labor- and land-rights abuses, and government corruption in Honduras. AJS works in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Tegucigalpa and has witnessed the crime rate decrease by over 75%  in the last 8 years.  In addition to fighting against crime in neighborhoods, AJS is also taking steps towards peace and public security on a national level through a public security reform process. AJC is also connected with a study abroad program sponsored by Calvin College in Justice Studies. For more information about the study abroad program, click here. For more information on AJC, click here.


Introduction to the Association for a More Just Society

December 10, 2014


Corboy Law Center, room 310

The Child Migrant: Children Crossing Borders, November 13

The Child Migrant: Children Crossing Borders, November 13

Joining us on November 13, 2014 to discuss this important issue:  Pulitzer Prize author, Sonia Nazario, immigration attorneys and advocates from the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights and the National Immigrant Justice Center, Catholic activists working at the border, child trauma experts, human rights scholars, political scientists, and subject matter experts. Please see the speaker list below.


This past summer, the United States experienced a historically unprecedented surge of undocumented children and families seeking sanctuary and protection at the southwest border. The number of children migrating alone to the US has tripled over the last five years, with over 65,000 children apprehended this year alone, arriving mostly from Central America and Mexico. Hundreds of these children are currently in secure facilities in Chicago awaiting immigration hearings.

The purpose of this day-long educational program is to provide Loyola students and the community an opportunity to learn more about this critical children’s rights issue. Who are children and families leaving their homes? What are their experiences migrating alone through unfriendly territory and systems? What is happening to children once they arrive in the United States, and what happens to the children who are sent back? What is being done to respond to this humanitarian crisis?

This dynamic program will include theatrical flash scenes on Loyola’s Roger’s Park campus throughout the day, interactive morning and afternoon round-table discussion with advocates, attorneys, scholars, child protection experts, including service providers working directly with children and families at the border, followed by an evening of original dramatic scenes highlighting the situations of children crossing borders.


Read what Pope Francis said regarding the U.S.-Mexican border crisis here.

In July Cardinal George made it known to the public that the Archdiocese of Chicago wants to help the unaccompanied children, read the article here.


This event is free and open to the public, however we ask that you register.

Morning Session, 10am-12pm, Coffey Hall:

The purpose of this panel is to discuss the conditions contributing to the migration of unaccompanied minors and families, and the experiences they are facing when apprehended at the border. 

10am-12pmMcCormick Lounge at Coffey Hall
Lauren Heidbrink, MA/MS, Ph.D. Assistant Professor at National Louis University
Sonia Nazario, M.A. Pulitzer prize winning journalist, Enrique's Journey
Rev. Peter Neeley, S.J. Director of Educational Programs, Kino Border Initiative 
Peter Sanchez, Ph.D. Professor & Graduate Program Director at Loyola University Chicago 
Maria Vidal de Haymes, Ph.D.* Professor & Director, Loyola University Chicago



Afternoon Session, 2:30pm-4:30pm, Coffey Hall:

The purpose of this panel is to discuss the current and proposed policies and practices responding to the surge of undocumented children, as well as the risks and challenges these children face by the US government’s current response.  The question, “What can, and what should we do?” will be addressed.

2:30pm-4:30pmMcCormick Lounge at Coffey Hall
Ruthie Epstein ACLU Immigration and Criminal Justice Lobbysit
Lisa Koop JD. Associate Director of Legal Services at the National Immigrant Justice Center
Sonia Nazaraio, M.A. Pulitzer prize winning journalist, Enrique's Journey
Maria Woltjen, J.D. Director, The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights at the University of Chicago
Bradley C. Stolbach, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago
Odette Yousef* Reporter, WBEZ



Evening Theatre Event, 7pm-9pm, Damen Student Center:

Teatro Vista, under the direction of  Ricardo Gutierrez, Frontera Players, Jackalope Theatre, ensemble under the direction of Kaiser Ahmed, Victory Gardens Theater and other performing artists, enact scenes describing the experiences unaccompanied children face entering and living in the United States. The evening theatre event will feature several scenes written by nationally celebrated playwrights, Loyola alumni, and Loyola students. 

7pm-9pmThe Den at Damen Student Center
Moises Zamora Award winning filmmaker, novelist, and playwright
Alice Tuan Award-winning LA based playwright, teacher, and performer
Aurora Chang, Ph.D. Author, "Undocumented to Hyperdocumented: A Jornada of Protection, Papers, and PhD Status"
Mark Guarino Award-winning Chicago based playwright and journalist, LUC Almunus
Cecilie Kennan Chicago based freelance director and producer

Campus Map for November 13



Thank you to the steering committee for making this event happen.  View selected resources from the steering committee.


Aurora Chang, Ph.D. Assistant Professor School of Education
Katherine Kaufka Walts, J.D. Director Center for the Human Rights of Children
Amanda Keelor Senator, Justice Committee LUC Unified Student Government Association
Mary Ann McDermott, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus LUC E-Caucus
Nicholas Patricca, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus Chicago Network
Julia Pryce, Ph.D. Assistant Professor School of Social Work
Janet Sisler Director The Gannon Center for Women and Leadership
Maria Vidal de Haymes, Ph.D. Director/Professor Insititute of Migration and Global Studies in Practice/ School of Social Work


 A big thank you to the sponsors of this event: The Office of the President, the Gannon Center for Women & Leadershipthe Chicago Network, the E-Caucus (LUC emeriti faculty), the School of Education, the School of Social Work, LUC Unified Student Government Association, the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy, and the Department of Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs.  


Questions & Answers

Q: Who should attend this event?
A: This event is open to the public. Anyone who is interested in learning more about what is going on at the border and anyone who is interested in helping is encouraged to attend.

Q: Is there a cost?
A: No, the event is free.

Q: Do I need to RSVP?
A: Yes, due to an increased interest in the event we are asking guests to register.  The event is still free and open to the public.

Q: Where is it being held?
A: The event is taking place on Loyola University's Lake Shore Campus.  The panels are taking place in the McCormick Lounge in Coffey Hall.  

Q: Is there parking available?
A: Yes, there is a parking garage on campus.  It costs $7/day.  We encourage guests to arrive via public transit, if possible. 

Q: How do I get to campus via public transit?
A: Loyola is conveniently located off the Loyola stop on the Red line.  


Dr. James Garbarino Presents in Dubai

Senior Faculty Fellow, Dr. Garbarino was in Dubai earlier this month.  He presented his book, "Let's Talk About Living in a World with Violence" to an audience in Dubai.  We are excited to announce the book has been translated into Arabic and more people around the world will be able to read it.


Central American Refugees Flee Violence

Migration from the Northern Triangle of Central America — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — has risen steadily as violence has increased. Mary Small of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and Shaina Aber of the United States Jesuit Conference explain what is driving people to flee for their lives. Learn more at jrsusa.org.

Youth gang violence has intensified in the last decade, and as drug trafficking routes have shifted to Central America, violence associated with the drug trade has risen as well. Honduras has the highest homicide rate in world; from 2005-2012, murders of women and girls have increased 346% while murders of men and boys are up 292%. In all three countries, rates of impunity are over 90%.

Child advocates, especially from Honduras and El Salvador, report accounts of children and teenagers subject to assaults and intimidation from gangs, and of children being forcibly recruited by gangs who have "join or die" polices. In a survey conducted by UNHCR of 404 Central American children detained at the border in 2013, UNHCR found that 58% of the children might be in need of international protection.

CHRC Seeking Associate Director

CHRC Seeking Associate Director

The Center for the Human Rights of the Child, Loyola University Chicago (LUC) seeks a qualified candidate for a newly authorized position as an Associate Director, beginning the spring semester of 2015. Recognizing that children require special protections due to their vulnerabilities, the Center for the Human Rights of Children (CHRC), a University Center of Excellence, pursues an agenda of interdisciplinary research, outreach and education, and advocacy to address critical and complex issues affecting children and youth, both locally and globally. Its mission is to advance and protect the rights of children. 

The Associate Director will report to the Director to provide operational support to advance the mission and strategic plan of the CHRC by promoting innovative, interdisciplinary, applied research and scholarship that will protect and advance the rights of children and support partners engaged in human rights work, engaging students and faculty in the promotion of social justice through education and outreach efforts around critical issues affecting children and their families, and advancing advocacy efforts on contemporary and cutting edge children's rights issues at Loyola, nationally, and globally


Read more about the position and apply here.

CHRC Responds to Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

CHRC Responds to Humanitarian Crisis at the Border


 The CHRC gathered an interdisciplinary team of experts representing the fields of social work, child welfare, law, child development, and psychology to provide a research-informed response via a letter to leaders of the White House and Congress. The CHRC sent a letter to the White House, leaders of US House and Senate, Illinois Congressional representatives, ranking members of Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Appropriations Committees, and co-sponsors of two bills that were recently introduced. A copy of the letter can be found here.

Collaborating faculty were Dr. Julia Pryce (SOSW), Anita Weinberg, JD, MSW (SOL), Dr. James Garbarino (CAS), and Dr. Katherine Tyson McCrea (SOSW). CHRC student children’s rights fellows, Jeanne Murray and Jade Gary, also provided critical research support and communication with external partners.  

We’d like to thank our colleagues, Maria Woltjen, Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, Sarah Diaz, DePaul University Asylum & Immigration Clinic, Dr. Bradley Stolbach, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Trauma-Informed Care for Youth Injured by Violence Project, for their thoughtful input and review.


CHRC Responds to Children at the Border

  • CHRC Director Speaks on Unaccompanied Minors

    Watch Katherine Kaufka Walts, CHRC Director, speak on Fox 32 News about unaccompanied minors trying to enter the United States.
  • Creating a Non-Violent Future Symposium Presentations

    The presentations from the May 2014 Symposium, Creating a Non-Violent Future, are ready to be viewed at the CHRC YouTube Channel.
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    2014 Trafficking in Persons Report

    The CHRC was represented last Friday at the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report release event. CHRC Director, Katherine Kaufka Walts was invited to attend the event releasing at the Ben Franklin Room in Washington DC. Ms. Kaufka Walts was among Secretary of State, John Kerry, Ambassador Lou CdeBaca, and Sarah Sewall, Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights.
  • Creating a Non-Violent Future Symposium

    On May 23-24, the CHRC will host a two-day symposium at Loyola University Chicago: "Creating a Non-Violent Future: Children's Rights and Advances in Protection from Corporal Punishment."
  • Save the Date, April 23

    Anuradha Bhosale, renowned grassroots women's rights and anti-child labor activist from Kolhapur, India, will be speaking at Loyola on Wednesday, April 23. Come here her story and see how she is working to make a difference.
  • CHRC Releases Legal Needs Assessment Study for Trafficked Children

    Children impacted by human trafficking require a multitude of services, including legal services. In the attached report, you will find the results of a CHRC led research project seeking to better understand the legal services landscape for trafficked children, including gaps in legal services, as well as opportunities for improving outcomes, using Cook County, Illinois as a case study. The project also included input from service providers around the country for a national comparison. We hope the results of our project help inform stakeholders working on this important issue.
  • Universal Children's Day 2013

    Universal Children's Day 2013 was acknowledged on Nov. 20. On this day, governments and organizations around the world came together to observe the Universal Children's Day, which marks the day on which the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and later the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1989. This day promotes awareness on the human rights of children. For the full story, check out the link below.
  • Poverty and the Brain

    An interesting study on how poverty, education, and child development all intersect.
  • Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect

    A straightforward and easy-to-understand summary of what child abuse and neglect are and how they happen.
  • Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Child Trafficking

    The CHRC, via a subgrant from the International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA), has received an award to help child welfare processionals in New York to improve identification of human trafficking of children. Part of the project will include developing a validated screening instrument(to identify child trafficking victims – both labor and sex, non US citizen and US citizen), and an assessment of training and capacity building activities. The project is being administered by the CHRC Director, Katherine Kaufka Walts, in collaboration with Dr. Deborah Baskin, Chair, Dept of Criminal Justice & Criminology.
  • The Affordable Care Act and Its Impact on Youths in Foster Care

    As of January 2014, the Affordable Care Act will require states to provide full medicaid benefits to all youth who were in foster care on or after their 18th birthday, up until age 26. This is a major advancement for youth who are aging out of the foster care system. Statistics have shown that young adults who lived in foster care experience more mental health issues and have less access to care. By providing medicaid, youth in the foster care system will health outcomes.
  • 15% of US Youth Out of School and Work

    The Opportunity Nation coalition released a report stating that about 6 million youth ages 16-24 are neither working nor in school. The report states, "Their destiny is too often determined by their ZIP code," which relates to how young person's community is connected to one's success. These statistics are contrary to rights set out in UN Convention on Rights of the Child, specifically the right of every child to have a standard of living adequate for the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.
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    Children's Rights Issues Briefing: October 1, 2013

    The briefing will address the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Prostitution, and Pornography (OPSC). Speakers include representatives from Loyola University's Center for the Human Rights of Children, ECPAT-USA, and The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights. The purpose of this program is to provide laypeople with the tools for using international law to advocate for children in the United States. The presentation will provide an overview of international children's rights instruments addressing exploitation of children, show how these instruments impact the United States, and provide examples of how international law can be used to improve outcomes for children in the United States. Advocates, legal service providers, social service providers, policy makers, scholars, and students working with vulnerable children are encouraged to attend. 4-6pm at Loyola's Water Tower/downtown campus. This program is open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, please click HERE or see www.luc.edu/chrc.
  • 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report Released

    On Wednesday, June 19, Secretary of State John Kerry released the 2013 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report during a ceremony at the U.S. Department of State. The TIP Report assesses governments around the world on their efforts to combat modern slavery, and includes narratives of 188 countries and territories.
  • ILO Estimates 10.5 Million Children as Domestic Workers

    The International Labour Organization reported that 10.5 million children, worldwide, spend long hours as domestic workers, instead of going to school. The hidden nature of this form of employment makes children especially vulnerable to exploitation and hazardous working conditions that may sometimes verge on slavery.
  • The DREAM Act at LUC Medical School

    Loyola University Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine is the first medical school in the nation to announce that it is accepting applications for admission from undocumented immigrants in response to President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
  • Fall 2013 Human Trafficking Course

    This interdisciplinary seminar will explore legal, social, and practical issues confronting human trafficking survivors within the United States, with an emphasis on child survivors. Open to law students and graduate level social work students.
  • Release: Principles for Immigration Reform

    On February 15, 2013, more than 200 organizations representing children, immigrants, academia, faith traditions, and civil rights (including the CHRC) released a set of principles for immigration reform legislation that meets the needs of children.
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    Service Opportunity in Rogers Park Preschools

    Are you passionate about education? Do you enjoy working with and supporting young children? Do you believe ALL children have the right to a high quality early education? If so, please consider applying to Loyola's Jumpstart program!
  • Dr. James Garbarino in the News

    Dr. James Garbarino, the CHRC’s Senior Faculty Fellow, offers his expertise on childhood trauma in historical context, in an article featured in Houstonia Magazine.
  • Dr. James Garbarino on CNN

    Dr. Garbarino offers his expertise on the recent violent events around the nation, in an opinion piece featured on CNN.com.
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    CHRC Research Fellowships

    November 2014 will mark the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). In recognition of this significant milestone, later this year the CHRC will be announcing new research fellowships. These fellowships will provide an opportunity for selected students and faculty to conduct interdisciplinary research supporting themes around children's rights. Please stay tuned - more information will be posted on the CHRC website at www.luc.edu/chrc.