Clinic Students Present Before Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Mexico City
(Pictured: Diana Navas, International Human Rights Law Clinic Director Richard Wilson, and Jacqueline Zamarripa)
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights invited the law school’s International Human Rights Law Clinic to present a written submission on unaccompanied migrant youth detained in the United States. The proceedings were held in Mexico City, October 9-10.
The Clinic has been involved with this issue since 2011, when several states presented to the Secretariat of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, requesting an advisory opinion "to determine the precise obligations of the States in relation to the possible measures to be adopted regarding children, their immigration status, or the status of their parents.”
At the time, student attorneys Anna Maitland and Regina Verret worked alongside three NGOs to submit a brief commending U.S. efforts in providing social services for migrant youth, but requested improvements in detention conditions and in guaranteeing their due process rights. Current student attorneys, Diana Navas (3L) and Jacqueline Zamarripa (3L), then attended the public hearing this October on behalf of the three NGO’s to present the submission.
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While in Mexico, the Navas and Zamarripa observed the States’ presentations on the first day of the advisory proceedings and presented on the second day, alongside several NGO’s, academic institutions, and individual petitioners.
“Presenting before the Inter-American Court was an invaluable experience outside the classroom, and as a law student pursuing a career in children’s advocacy, it was amazing to be a part of such a monumental effort in protecting and advocating for children’s rights throughout the Americas," said Zamaripa. "There is no doubt that this experience has made me a stronger advocate for children and I cannot wait for the Court to publish its Advisory Opinion.”
“I felt that my law school career had come full circle,” said Navas. “To find myself, as a 3L, presenting to the honorable judges at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights was an incredibly humbling and rewarding experience. The advisory proceedings brought together a phenomenal group of State and NGO representatives committed to protecting the rights of migrant children. I am excited and honored to be joining this community of advocates as I begin my career as a human rights attorney.”