Asylum: Blessing, Barrier or Legal Maze

Monday, April 15, 2013
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein 219)
Harvard Kennedy School of Government

 

Asylum:
a blessing for some, a barrier for others 
and almost always a legal maze

 

a panel discussion with

 

Lin Piwowarczyk, M.D.

Physician, Boston Medical Center
Specialist, Mental Health Evaluation and Treatment of Refugees and Torture Survivors
Co-Founder of the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights

Natalie Anderson, MSc

Program Officer, RefugePoint, a Cambridge-based NGO
Former Field Team Leader, Church World Service’s Resettlement Support Center
Consultant, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: Mbarara, Uganda, Cairo

Robert McAndrews, Ph.D, J.D.

Attorney, Asylum Law and Immigration Deportation
Co-Director, Center on Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Salem State University
President, Board of the Holocaust Center, Boston North

Fatima Mendikulova

Asylum Seeker from Kyrgyzstan
Client, Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights
Affiliate, Carr Center, Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Program

Three very experienced human rights practitioners – a physician, a lawyer, and a staff from a local NGO that assists some of the most vulnerable refugees -- will discuss their work with refugees and asylum seekers. Providing a first-hand perspective, a current asylum seeker, will discuss her own experience at navigating the asylum process.

This event is sponsored by: The HKS Human Rights PIC.

 

More About the Panelists:

 

Linda Piwowarczyk, MD, MPH 

Dr. Lin Piwowarczyk, Co-Founder of the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights (BCRHHR) is a physician at Boston Medical Center, board certified in Psychiatry and Internal Medicine. She first began working with refugees in 1993. She also completed an internship at the Geneva headquarters of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She specializes in the mental health evaluation and treatment of refugees and torture survivors, and is currently the principal investigator for a grant funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, addressing, in part, the holistic treatment of survivors of torture.

Natalie Anderson, MSc 

Natalie Anderson works for a Cambridge-based NGO - RefugePoint -- which provides lasting solutions for the world’s most vulnerable refugees She first began working with refugees in 2003 as a Refugee Services Coordinator for a resettlement agency in Raleigh, North Carolina. Later, she served as a Field Team Leader with Church World Service’s Resettlement Support Center (RSC) based in Nairobi, Kenya. She has also been a consultant through the RSC and RefugePoint for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offices in Mbarara, Uganda and Cairo, Egypt, where she assisted with targeted resettlement efforts. Natalie has an MSc in Forced Migration from the University of Oxford, UK.

Robert McAndrews, Ph.D, J.D.

Robert McAndrews teaches social work at Salem State University, where he also serves as the co-director of a new, Salem State University, Center on Holocaust and Genocide Studies. McAndrews is also an attorney specializing in asylum law and immigration deportation and President of the Board of the Holocaust Center, Boston North since 1998. He is the U.S. liaison for the Pro-Busqueda Association, a human rights NGO based in El Salvador, which investigates the forced disappearances of children taken by military units during the civil war.

Fatima Mendikulova

Fatima Mendikulova is the wife of a prominent politician and diplomat, mother of two, and herself affiliated with several NGOs in Kyrgyzstan. Under her leadership, NGO's organized professional training to unemployed women, youth and helped them to develop new skills. After he husband was elected to the Parliament, he was subsequently appointed as Ambassador to India, which included accreditation to Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, where she accompanied him. Her husband later become deputy chairman of Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan and as prominent opposition leader was outspoken about corruption. Due to both threats and attempts on his life in the run-up to the 2009 presidential election, Fatima with her husband, fled Kyrgyzstan seeking asylum in the United States. They were both clients of the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights. She is currently affiliated with the Program on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation at the Carr Center.