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Center for Human Rights and International Justice


Human Rights Fellow

The Center is seeking a Human Rights Fellow for a one year appointment starting in June 2015.  



The Migration and Human Rights Project (MHRP), an initiative of the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College, seeks applications for a Human Rights Fellow. The position is for one year and will begin in June 2015.

The MHRP is a multifaceted project which addresses human rights issues relating to migrants in varied situations, both in the US and abroad, from both legal and psychosocial perspectives.  The two sub-projects in the MHRP that the Human Rights Fellow will support are:

1.      Human Rights of Migrants: Transnational and Mixed-Status Families

The project brings together Central American immigrant members of community organizations, staff organizers from the groups, lawyers, psychologists, and social workers to document how the recent upsurge of immigration enforcement is affecting immigrants and their families and communities. The aim of the participatory action research (PAR) project is to develop human rights research and advocacy skills among immigrant community members within the United States and Guatemala while at the same time generating action-oriented data and information. Specific legal case consultation to staff in Zacualpa, Guatemala, is an important component of this PAR process.

2.      Post-Deportation Human Rights Project (PDHRP)

The PDHRP is designed to counsel, support, and represent individuals who have been deported from the United States (U.S.); to investigate the effects of harsh deportation policies on families and communities; to advocate, in collaboration with affected families and communities, for fundamental changes that will introduce legal predictability, proportionality, compassion, and respect for family unity into U.S. immigration law and policy; and to reframe deportation policy as a matter of international human rights.

The Fellow will also lend support to the Center’s partner project, the Ignacio Martín-Baró Fund for Mental Health and Human Rights (MBF).  The MBF fosters psychological well-being, social consciousness, active resistance, and progressive social change in communities affected by institutional violence, repression and social injustice through grant-making and education.

Responsibilities of the Human Rights Fellow include:

  • Helping to organize a conference at Boston College to bring together national and international experts to advance work on the draft Declaration on the Rights of Expelled and Deported Persons.
  • Working with faculty and students from the Boston College Law School, Lynch School of Education and Graduate School of Social Work on inter-disciplinary community-based collaborations and research projects investigating the effects of deportation on individuals, families, and communities.
  • Developing training materials and providing technical assistance to attorneys handling post-removal cases.
  • Conducting client intakes and outreach to advocacy organizations.
  • Recruiting and mentoring pro bono attorneys to co-counsel a small number of post-removal cases.
  • Collaborating with immigrant communities, the legal community, the academic community, and legislators to press for comprehensive immigration reform and transform the laws governing deportation.
  • Supervising law students who may assist in the drafting of research and training materials and the representation of existing clients with final orders of removal.  Legal matters that are currently being handled by the PDHRP include: motions to reopen removal proceedings; consular processing with waivers; non-immigrant waiver applications; humanitarian parole applications; and U-visas. 

  • Conducting media outreach and drafting op-eds for publication in newspapers and professional journals.

  • Organizing and speaking at conferences and public events focusing on human rights issues related to deportation.
  • Working with CHRIJ Associate Directors to transition cases and other work of the PDHRP as the project moves to its next phase.
  • Coordinating with the MHRP’s office in Guatemala, fielding requests for assistance in locating family members in the US and answering other legal questions.
  • Managing the MBF’s grant-making process, organizing grant applications and coordinating with the MBF grant-making committee, and liaising with applicant organizations.
  • Helping to organize and coordinate the MBF’s fundraising activities, including an annual Bowl-a-Thon fundraiser.


Candidates must have a JD or LL.M., be proficient in Spanish, be licensed to practice law in the United States, and have substantial experience practicing immigration or human rights law.    Some background in community organizing is a plus, as is an understanding of the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.

Salary is commensurate with experience and includes benefits.   Review of applications will begin in April, 2015, and will continue until the position is filled.  To apply, click here ( and search for job ID: 12538.  Please submit a resume and cover letter.


For more information about the MHRP at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice please visit:

Boston College is an affirmative action, equal employment opportunity employer.