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Winter 2016

Greetings Friends and Colleagues

In this issue of our newsletter, we focus on human rights issues close to home. The most recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan, illustrates the inequities of access to clean water and the devastating effects of lead, particularly to children who have developing immune systems and bodies. To learn more about the intersection of environmental toxins and human rights, we welcome you to attend our public lecture with Dr. Susan Buchanan on February 18, and to read our most recent blog by CHRC Graduate Research Assistant, Patrick CoatarPeter. During our program on March 23, Careers in Human Rights, students will have an opportunity to learn more from experts about educational and professional pathways to human rights. We also invite you to learn more about opportunities for faculty and students to work with the CHRC to advance in children's rights issues, both locally and globally. We hope to see you soon!
Katherine Kaufka Walts

Center for Human Rights of Children (CHRC)
Loyola University Chicago


Advocacy and News

Impact of Environmental Toxins on Children’s Health
Last month, President Obama declared a state of emergency in Flint, MI in response to highly elevated lead levels in the city’s drinking water. The toll on the health and well-being of Flint’s children is still unknown as the fallout continues to unfold. Read CHRC Graduate Research Assistant, Patrick CoatarPeter's blog on access to clean water as a human rights issue.

Child Trafficking and Exploitation
Last fall, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) convened a group of national experts to discuss the utilization of a trauma-informed lens across systems, identifying best practices and strategies related to screening, engagement, treatment, care coordination, collaboration, and partnerships for children and  youth who are or have been trafficked. The CHRC was invited to participate in this forum. Several resources were published, including 12 core concepts of understanding the traumatic stress response to child trafficking. See this page for more details.

Children and Youth Navigating Systems Alone
Security concerns have prompted some states to suspend resettlement of Syrian refugees. In response, the CHRC issued a statement to encourage our state and federal governments to continue welcoming refugee Syrian children and families to the United States and the importance to protect the rights of vulnerable children and families.

Research and Scholarship

CHRC Faculty Fellowships 2016-17: Call For Proposals
To promote research, scholarship, and programming to support children’s rights, the Center for the Human Rights of Children is pleased to sponsor a maximum of three Faculty Fellowships for 2016-2017. The fellowships are designed to support projects addressing 1) Child trafficking and exploitation, 2) The impact of environmental toxins on children's health, and 3) Vulnerable youth navigating systems alone. The deadline to apply is March 15, 2016.  For more information, see this page of our website

CHRC Children’s Rights Graduate Scholars Program 2016-17: Application Now Open
This competitive scholarship program provides a Loyola University Chicago graduate, professional, or PhD student with tuition remission and an internship opportunity at the Center for the Human Rights of Children. The Children’s Rights Graduate Scholar will work closely with CHRC staff and Loyola faculty who are engaged in projects that advance and promote the rights of children both locally and globally. Through professional development and project-based learning opportunities, the Scholar will develop foundational knowledge about key issues facing children today while developing essential skills for their future career. The deadline to apply is March 22, 2016.  Please see this page of our website for more information.
"CHRC has a passionate team comprised of people from multiple disciplines who view children's rights issues from different perspectives. Not only does the approach make the CHRC a more effective organization, but it creates a valuable learning opportunity for graduate scholars."  Alison Wallace, Loyola School of Law, 2015-16 CHRC Children's Rights Scholar

CHRC Faculty Fellowships 2015-16 Project Updates

Child Trafficking on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Melina Healey, JD
Teaching Fellow Melina Healey and Child Law Policy Clinic students have partnered with the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation to examine child trafficking on the reservation and draft a tribal code provision aimed at eliminating this abuse. Child trafficking on the reservation has risen sharply in recent years due to oil drilling and criminal activity in the nearby Bakken region of North Dakota. This project incorporates the clinic's expertise in legislative drafting with insight from tribal leaders and elders on how to address the issue in culturally sensitive ways.

Stateless North Korean Children in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in China, Caleb Kim, PhD

North Korean children are among the most vulnerable children in the world because they are often navigating government systems and transitioning into adulthood without necessary social services or appropriate parental care. The objectives of this project are: 1) to identify the psycho-social needs of stateless North Korean children living in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in China, and 2) to develop a practical training manual for local volunteer community activists who are serving these children. Accomplishing these objectives, the project not only aims to disseminate the quality of stateless North Korean children’s life to the world but also advocate for human rights of the most vulnerable children.

Vulnerabilities and Human Rights Violations of Children Migrating to the US Alone—An Analytical Framework for Catholic Ethics and Advocacy, Hille Haker, PhD

The United States is experiencing a rise in unaccompanied children and families migrating to our southern border. This project examines the specific vulnerabilities and human rights violations of children migrating to the US, and develops an ethical framework that reflects and enhances the Catholic Church's response.

Upcoming Events

More than a Survivor: More than a Story, February 9th, 6pm
Join the Loyola University Museum of Art exhibit featuring the stories of 22 women who were trafficked. Loyola alumnae and human trafficking survivors Marian Hatcher and Shamere McKenzie will speak on their own experiences, with an introduction by Cook County Sheriff, Thomas J. Dart on his department’s efforts to stop sex trafficking in Cook County. For more information on the exhibit, see here.

Children's Environmental Health and Their Human Rights: What
Healthcare Providers Should Know, Feb 18th 12-1:30pm
In this brown bag lunch seminar, Dr. Susan Buchanan, Family Physician, Director of the Great Lakes Center for Children's Environmental Health, and Clinical Associate Professor at the UIC School of Public Health, will discuss environmental toxins and child health. Free and open to the public.
Location: Health Sciences (Maywood) Campus, Cuneo Center, Room 170. 

RSVP here.

Crossing Borders: Lessons From Unaccompanied Youth, March 16, 5:30-6:30 pm
In this lecture, as part of the John M. Wozniak Annual Lecture Series at Loyola's School of Education, Dr. Lauren Heidbrink will discuss her work on unaccompanied immigrant minors.
Location: Water Tower Campus, Lewis Tower, 16th floor (Regents Hall). 
RSVP here.

Careers in Human Rights, March 22nd, 11-1:30pm
Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to join the CHRC to learn about the different paths careers focused on human rights may take. Location: Lake Shore Campus, Damen Student Center. A light lunch will be provided. RSVP required. 
RSVP here.
Screening of "He Named Me Malala," March 23rd, 6-9pm 
CHRC, in collaboration with UNICEF and the Muslim American Leadership Alliance (MALA), will host a screening of the documentary that follows Malala Yousafzai, 18-year-old education and human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient. The event will also feature a discussion panel after the screening and a sale of Schoola bags to support the Malala Fund.
Location: Lake Shore Campus, Damen Student Center Cinema.
RSVP here.

Meet Our New CHRC Students

CHRC Children's Rights Scholar, Alison Wallace
Alison is a second-year student at Loyola University Chicago School of Law where she is pursuing a career in international humanitarian and human rights law. She has more than five years of experience in human rights advocacy and international development for governmental and non-governmental organizations, primarily in West Africa.

Children’s Health and Human Rights Research Assistant,
Patrick CoatarPeter
Patrick is a second-year Master’s student in the sociology program at Loyola. Patrick has worked with children in many capacities ranging from backpacking guide in the Rocky Mountains, to literacy volunteer work in Nicaragua, to his current work mentoring first-generation college students at Loyola.  Previously, he worked as an international trade assistant in the Office for Pollution Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances at the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency.
Social Work Intern, Jaye Hobart
Jaye Hobart is a first-year social work intern from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration.  With a strong interest in social justice and civic engagement, Jaye hopes to help the Center in its mission by supporting the development and promotion of projects that advance and protect the rights of children.

The Center for the Human Rights of Children, founded in 2007, pursues an agenda of interdisciplinary research, education, and service to address critical human rights affecting children and youth, both locally and globally. The Center represents Loyola University's efforts to protect and advance the human rights of children through research, scholarship, advocacy, and programs.

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