The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights
The Young Center Immigrant Child Advocacy Clinic combines children's rights, international human rights, and immigration law. Students in the Young Center clinic serve as Child Advocate (similar to a guardian ad litem) for unaccompanied immigrant children detained in Chicago.
Each year thousands of children enter this country by themselves, without their parents, from all parts of the world: Central America, India, China, countries in Africa, and Eastern Europe. Some children come fleeing child abuse or other mistreatment; some are trafficked for labor or sex; others come to escape war or violence; and some come seeking family members who preceded them here. They come by foot over the border, or by plane (usually with false papers) or as stowaways on freighters. Many of these children get apprehended by immigration officials. They’re placed in detention across the country; there are six detention facilities here in Chicago.
Separated from their families, these children and youth have no one to stand up on their behalf. Some of the children are eligible for political asylum or other protective visas, yet many go before immigration judges without an attorney. Pursuant to federal law, the Young Center is appointed as Child Advocate for the most vulnerable of these children. Law students in the Young Center Clinic are appointed to serve as Child Advocate and are responsible for advocating for the best interests of the assigned child on a variety of issues. Students look to international human rights law, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and UNHCR Guidelines, as well as the child protection law of the child’s home country.
Students who join the Young Center Clinic are assigned to work one-on-one with children at Chicago-area detention facilities. Each student meets weekly the child, and advocates on behalf of the child with federal officials, immigration judges and asylum officers, under the supervision of Young Center attorneys. The Young Center Clinic admits both second-year and third-year law students.
For more information about the Young Center, visit: www.TheYoungCenter.org or contact Maria Woltjen at email@example.com or 773-702-0349 or Elizabeth Frankel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-702-9587.