2018 Northeastern University Law Review Symposium
“Rethinking Borders: Climate Change, Migration, and Human Rights”

Co-Sponsored by the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE), the NUSL Chapter of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

June 2018

On November 2nd, 2018, the Northeastern University Law Review (NULR) will host its annual Symposium at Northeastern University School of Law (NUSL). The Symposium is an opportunity for an interdisciplinary gathering of legal scholars, practitioners, and advocates to engage in dialogue on contemporary legal issues. This year we will examine the interplay between migration, human rights, and climate change, with the goal of developing innovative solutions to the current immigration and refugee crisis. We will use the theme of borders to ground our discussion, focusing on how borders are expressed as natural forms, as well as human-made borders that are manifested in laws and policies. This exploration of physical and legal borders, how they relate to each other, and the impact of climate change, will evolve through three different panels:

Physical Borders:
This panel focuses on the tangible borders that keep people separate. From rising oceans and extreme temperatures to political promises of “building a wall,” this panel is an opportunity to explore how human activity shapes physical borders and how we relate to them. Panelists are encouraged to examine the impact of these forms of borders on communities, identity, and the law.

Legal Borders:
This panel focuses on the laws, policies, and similar abstract government-based structures that serve to separate and divide. Legal constructs of borders encompass both international and national policies, as well as borders at municipal and community levels, such as zoning. Panelists can explore the questions of who has the right to enter, who has the right to remain, and how this impacts our understanding of “belonging.”

Beyond Borders:
Our final panel is an opportunity to rethink the future of borders, both legal and physical. This panel will think creatively on how to integrate climate change awareness and human rights into immigration reform, and speculate on what the future of migration and borders will look like in a rapidly changing world.  

For further information, please contact the Symposium Editors Anna Maria Annino (summer quarter) and Taarika Sridhar (fall quarter) at symposium.nulr@northeastern.edu.