Past Events



The Child Migrant: Children Crossing Borders

November 13, 2014


This past summer, the United States experienced a historically unprecedented surge of undocumented children and families seeking sanctuary and protection at the southwest border. The number of children migrating alone to the US has tripled over the last five years, with over 65,000 children apprehended this year alone, arriving mostly from Central America and Mexico. Hundreds of these children are currently in secure facilities in Chicago awaiting immigration hearings.

The purpose of this day-long educational program was to provide Loyola students and the community an opportunity to learn more about this critical children’s rights issue. Who are children and families leaving their homes? What are their experiences migrating alone through unfriendly territory and systems? What is happening to children once they arrive in the United States, and what happens to the children who are sent back? What is being done to respond to this humanitarian crisis?

This dynamic program included theatrical flash scenes on Loyola’s Roger’s Park campus throughout the day, interactive morning and afternoon round-table discussion with advocates, attorneys, scholars, child protection experts, including service providers working directly with children and families at the border, followed by an evening theatrical performance of nine original screenplays.

For videos of the event, click here.

Dane Placko from Fox 32 News interviewed CHRC Director Katherine Kaufka Walts about this issue, outlined in this article.


Trafficking of Women and Girls- Global Strategies for Improving Awareness & Advocacy

September 3, 2014

On September 3 Loyola and the CHRC were proud to host over 100 international and national human rights activists who attended the Pan-Pacific & South-East Asia Women's Association's event on the trafficking of women and girls.  The event was co-sponsored by the International Women Associates.  Guests were able to interact with global speakers and learn more about what is occurring around the world.


The 4th Annual Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force Conference

August 14-15, 2014

On August 14 and 15, CHRC and Loyola University hosted the 4th Annual Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force Conference.  The event took place in Loyola's Lewis Towers and speakers were greeted by over 300 local and national experts on human trafficking.  Keynote speakers included Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, and the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Zachary Fardon.  

Visit the Conference website here.


Advancing Healthy Homes & Healthy Communities Summit

June 19, 2014

A day-long summit to develop a blueprint for the City and County to advance a healthy homes agenda was held at Loyola's Corboy Law Building.  Over 150 professionals were in attendance.  For more information on the event and to view the outcomes, visit Healthy Homes. For photos of the event, click here.




Creating a Non-Violent Future: Children's Rights and Advances in Protection from Corporal Punishment

May 23-24, 2014

A two-day symposium engaging advocates to end corporal punishment was held on May 23-24, 2014 at Loyola University Chicago's Lakeshore Campus.

Girl Rising

February 27, 2014

6PM, Damen Student Center Cinema 

Girl Rising is a groundbreaking feature film about the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to transform societies. The film presents the remarkable stories of nine girls around the world, told by celebrated writers and voiced by renowned actors. It uses powerful storytelling to deliver a simple, critical truth: Educate Girls and you will Change the World.

In addition, we are teamed up with the Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture to collect food for them.

Sponsored by Loyola Women's Studies & Gender Studies Program, The Gannon Center for Women and LeadershipThe Center for the Human Rights of Children, Feminist Forum, and the WSGS Graduate Student Association. 

Not My Life

November 21, 2013 

The CHRC hosted the second film of the Fall 2013 Film Series on November 21, 2013.  The film, Not My Life was featured at the Damen Student Center Cinema.  Not My Life is a film that sheds light on modern day slavery and human trafficking.  Human trafficking victimizes children and adults from all parts of the world.  

As always, the event was free and open to the public.  Loyola's School of Social Work Graduate Student, Megan Fogerty was available to answer any questions about human trafficking and slavery in today's world.  

The Harvest/La Cosecha

 October 10, 2013

 The CHRC along with the Provost Office for Social Justice and in collaboration with the Latin American Student Organization and LUC's Free the Slaves student chapter showed their first film, The Harvest/La Cosecha on October 10 at the Damen Student Center Cinema.  The Harvest/La Cosecha addresses modern day violations of children's rights, including international child trafficking and child labor in the US.


The event was free and open to the public.  Following the film, Jim Garbarino led a discussion on the issues of globalization and children's rights. 



Child Rights Issue Briefing

The Convention on the Rights of the Child Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Understanding the 2nd Periodic Report of the U.S. Government

October 1, 2013

The CHRC hosted a Child Rights Issue Briefing on the Convention on the Rights of the Child Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children. The Issue Briefing was held in Regents Hall at Loyola University Chicago's Water Tower Campus, downtown Chicago. Speakers included:

Katherine Kaufka Walts, J.D., Director, Center for the Human Rights of Children, Loyola University Chicago
Maria Woltjen, J.D., Director, The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, University of Chicago
Carol Smolenski, Executive Director, ECPAT-USA.


Promoting Justice and Peace Conference

June 18-21, 2013

The CHRC co-sponsored "Promoting Justice and Peace," an interactive conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Senior Faculty Fellow, James Garbarino, attended to present on inter-faith perspectives on the human rights of children, and provide leadership on this issue across sessions throughout the conference.

For more information, please click here.

Educational Forum: Human Trafficking

May 21, 2013

On May 21, 2013 the American Bar Association and the National Association of Women Judges hosted an educational forum in Chicago on human trafficking. The panelists discussed both international and domestic trafficking in Illinois, special issues concerning children, best practices, state of research, and opportunities for advocacy. The event was attended by approximately 100 participants, comprised of attorneys, social service providers, students, advocates and other professionals. Speakers included Cook County State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, Judge Virginia Kendall, Katherine Kaufka Walts, Director, and Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago, and Kaethe Morris Hoeffer, Legal Director, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation.


Spring 2013 Child Rights Film Series

The Center for the Human Rights of Children hosted a Film Series this past Spring Semester (2013). Each of the films addressed different aspects of globalization and children. Films included Street Children of Africa: Will the Dawn Ever Come?, Not My Life, and Which Way Home.

The films were followed by discussions facilitated by Dr. James Garbarino, Senior Faculty Fellow for the Center for the Human Rights of Children and Maude C. Clarke Chair in humanistic psychology. For more information about these films and the film series, please click here.

Juvenile Justice Colloquium

Indignities of Order Maintenance: Children, Law and the Police
April 11, 2013

The Center for the Human Rights of Children collaborated with the Civitas ChildLaw Center and the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology to host a Juvenile Justice colloqium.

This colloquium discussed how interactions between the police and youth, especially minority youth, can shape how the latter understand and react to the law and to social norms. It also argued the need for a jurisprudence of dignity that exports the qualities of fair and respectful treatment to settings in which the police interact with juveniles. Such a jurisprudence recognizes that dignity has the power to shape or poison youth views of state authority and their relations to the law well into their adult lives.

Jeffrey Fagan
Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia University

David Yellen
Dean and Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Bernardine Dohrn
Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Northwestern Law School
Founder, Children and Family Justice Center
Co-Founder, Center on the Wrongful Conviction of Youth

Healthy Homes Film Screening

April 10, 2013

Healthy Homes Film- Burning the Future: Coal in America

Burning the Future: Coal in America documents the devastating environmental, health, and social impact our addiction to coal has on West Virginia, where mountaintop removal mining has obliterated1.4 million acres of mountains and polluted the groundwater. The film profiles the courageous West Virginians who challenged the powerful coal industry, and launched a valiant fight to arouse the nation's help in protecting their mountains, saving their families, and preserving their way of life.

The film screening was held in Cuneo Hall Room 417 at 7 pm, for more information, please click here.

Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth Encyclical) 50th Anniversary

March 23, 2013

This free working conference brought together faculty and students from Loyola with partners in Chicago who are collaborating to lessen violence and increase peace in our neighborhoods, city, nation and world. For more information, visit .

Loyola Public Interest Law Reporter Symposium 2013

Human Trafficking: A Growing International and Domestic Criminal Enterprise
March 22, 2013

Human trafficking—the recruiting, harboring, moving or obtaining of a person, by force, fraud, or coercion, for the purposes of involuntary servitude, debt bondage, or sexual exploitation—is the second largest and the fastest growing criminal industry in the world today. The industry generates billions in profits worldwide, and the United States has become a particularly active and profitable venue.  This day-long symposium explored international and domestic sex trafficking and labor trafficking and the response needed to curb its growth.

Children's Rights Issue Briefing: "Raising Awareness: The Hidden Epidemic of Child Trafficking in the United States"

September 10, 2012

Child trafficking is one of the most disturbing human rights abuses of our time, involving cases of both United States citizen and immigrant boys and girls trafficked for labor and/or commercial sexual services.

On September 10, 2012, the Center for the Human Rights of Children hosted an educational forum to help advance our understanding of the unique issues facing child trafficking victims in the United States.


Keynote Speaker: Laurel Bellows, Esq., President, American Bar Association


  • Honorable Virginia Kendall, Judge, Northern District of Illinois
  • Katherine Kaufka Walts, JD, Director, Center for the Human Rights of Children, Loyola University Chicago
  • Dr. Deborah Baskin, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Loyola University Chicago

The Center for the Human Rights of Children hosted a breakfast and informational briefing on the state of child trafficking in the United States. Speaker presentations covered systemic gaps, policies, current research, and promising practices.  Attendees included leaders and representatives from various organizations, such as the Circuit Court of Cook County, Department of Family and Support Services, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the Office of Senator Durbin, philanthropy organizations, and social and legal service providers.

Geneva Switzerland - CHRC/Young Center Alternative Report

June 18, 2012

CHRC Director, Katherine Kaufka Walts, participated in a pre-session meeting with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to present findings and recommendations from the CHRC/Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights Alternative Report to the Periodic Report of the United States government to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child Concerning the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Prostitution, and Pornography (OPSC). The Committee makes recommendations to governments to improve their efforts to stop the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. The CHRC/Young Center report focuses on sale of children for labor and labor trafficking in the United States.

The CHRC would like to thank students Natnael Moges (School of Law), and Catherine Lee (CAS, Psychology Dept) for their research and contributions to the alternative report.


[U.S. NGO delegates outside of the Office for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights]

The CHRC has moved!

June, 2012

The Center for the Human Rights of Children has moved from Loyola's Water Tower Campus to new offices on Lake Shore Campus in Rogers Park. We are now officially  located in Loyola’s new Cuneo Hall. Loyola University is constantly strengthening its commitment to research centers and trying to better link the university’s capacity to address emerging issues in the broader community by bringing interdisciplinary teams closer together. Our new neighbors are other Loyola Centers of Excellence, including the Center for Urban Research and Learning and the Center for Urban Environmental Policy and Research.   

Child Protection in Sub-Saharan Africa: Current trends, challenges and the way forward

April 16, 2012

Brigette De Lay, Child Protection Officer for UNICEF and Advisory Board Member of the Center for the Human Rights of Children (CHRC), visited Loyola University Chicago, in April, 2012. As a visiting scholar and child rights expert, Ms. Delay gave an evening lecture, titled, "Child Protection in Sub-Saharan Africa: Current trends, challenges and the way forward." Dr. Terry Northcut, Associate Professor at Loyola's School of Social Work and the CHRC's 2011 African Child Rights Fellow, discussed her work with Daniel Hailu on the project, "Psychosocial Support to Orphan and Vulnerable Children in Ethiopia - An Institutional Perspective."
You can access Brigette De Lay's bio HERE.

The Interrupters

January 24, 2012

Alex Kotlowitz discussed the changing face of urban poverty over the last twenty years. 


WORKSHOP: Protecting Child Rights Through Multidisciplinary Forensics

November 4, 2011

Due to budget cuts and limited resources, many legal aid agencies and social service providers working with vulnerable children and youth are not able to retain experts to provide the essential assessments, evaluations, affidavits and testimony to advance their clients' cases (i.e., immigration, civil, or juvenile justice) and ensure that their rights are protected. In the majority of circumstances, these expert contributions play a vital role in the outcome of children's legal cases. Moreover, they are often critical in obtaining the necessary services for these children (e.g., appropriate education, medical or psychological treatment, and suitable care).

The purpose of this multidisciplinary workshop was to build the capacity of the professional community to better serve this population. It provided specialized, multidisciplinary training (i.e., medicine, mental health, education, and subject matter) on how to support children who are victims of discrimination, violence, trauma, and torture via subject matter expertise, use of expert witnesses in court, and forensic assessments and evaluations. The goal was to expand the multidisciplinary cadre of professionals who are available to assist legal advocates and service providers by offering the necessary services to advance the health, dignity, protection, and justice of vulnerable children (e.g., asylum cases, human trafficking victims, unaccompanied minors, victims of abuse/neglect, children with special needs, and juvenile justice cases).

Pictures of the Workshop


American Bar Association Annual Meeting

August 5, 2011

Katherine Kaufka Walts, Director of the CHRC, spoke at the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada. The presentation was titled, "Child Trafficking Law, Policy and Practice Reform: U.S.-Canada Perspectives."

Sneior Faculty Fellow Receives Max Hayman Award

April 10-13, 2011

Dr. James Garbarino, CHRC Senior Faculty Fellow, was selected as the 2011 recipient of the Max Hayman Award for distinguished contributions to the study and elimination of genocide and other forms of political violence. A description of the Hayman Award can be found at, where brief descriptions of the work of recent recipients can also be found. The award was presented at the Third Greenville Family Symposium at University Center in Greenville, SC, on April 10-13, 2011. Sponsored by The American Orthopsychiatric Association (in tandem with the International Family Therapy Association and the International Society for child indicators).





Human Trafficking Panel

March 4, 2011

The Loyola School of Social Work joined with the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Depaul School of Social work to present a program on Human Trafficking, sponsored by the Illinois Field Director's Network.

Katherine Kaufka Walts, Director of the CHRC, participated as a panelist along with Charles Hounmenou, Ph.D. (a Visiting Research Specialist at the Jane Addams Center for Social Polic and Research at UIC) and Rachel Durchslag (Executive Director of the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation). As a panel, they presented their reactions to the IL Field Director's Network DVD regarding Human Trafficking, and led a discussion on human trafficking issues with attendees.

Dreams of Mexico: Independence, Revolution, and Contemporary Social Issues

November 17, 2010

The anniversaries of Mexico’s independence and revolution provide an excellent opportunity to explore the dynamic interaction between past and present, with particular attention to contemporary issues of migration, children, and human rights. "Dreams of Mexico" provides historical context for an examination of contemporary issues of concern: migration, families, child rights, and immigration. 

As part of this week-long program, the Center for the Human Rights of Children hosted a panel titled, “Mexico: Child Rights and Contemporary Immigration Issues." Panelists included Dr. James Garbarino, CHRC Senior Faculty Fellow; Mary M. DeLorey, Strategic Issues Advisor for Latin America, Caribbean Region, Catholic Relief Services; and Ruiz Velasco, Director of Legal Services at the National Immigrant Justice Center. Topics addressed included application of the "best interest of the child" standards to immigration issues and policies in Mexico, the Dream Act, and the detention and repatriation of unaccompanied children in Mexico.  

National Child Trafficking and Exploitation Conference

September 22-23, 2010

This year, the United States celebrated the 10thAnniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. While the nation has made significant progress to eradicate human trafficking, children continue to be disproportionately underrepresented in identified cases. This demonstrates the need for a national, collaborative response to address the gaps in identification, protection, recovery, and prevention of child trafficking and exploitation. In September 2010, the Center hosted a conference to provide participants an opportunity to learn best practices, research, and scholarship on this issue, and to stimulate ongoing work and partnerships in the field to protect the rights of children, both citizens and non-citizens, impacted by human trafficking and exploitation in the United States. 

Keynote Speakers: Anita Alvarez, Cook County States Attorney, Senator John Cullerton and Kelly Heinrich, Counsel, U.S. State Department, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

The Center is in the process of compiling information presented and discussed during the conference to publish an Outcome Document. The Outcome Document will address current issues, challenges, promising practices in the field, as well as suggest "action items" and next steps, and can hopefully be guide for future scholarship/research, collaboration, and networking on the issues of human trafficking and exploitation of children and youth in the United States. Please check back frequently to see updates, as the document will be posted on the Center's website.

 Pictures of the CHRC Conference


Human Trafficking and Special Issues Concerning Children

June 2, 2010

Katherine Kaufka Walts, Director of the CHRC, spoke at the 2010 Human Trafficking Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. The presentation was titled, "Human Trafficking and Special Issues Concerning Children."

Understanding Human Trafficking Prosecutions

May 3-5, 2010

Katherine Kaufka Walts, Director of the CHRC, spoke at the 2010 Department of Justice National Conference on Human Trafficking in Arlington, Virginia. The presentation was titled, “Understanding Human Trafficking Prosecutions.”

India's Children: Preserving their Rights, Protecting their Future

April 30 and May 1, 2010

The Center for the Human Rights of Children and India Development Services (IDS) hosted an informative mini-symposium titled "India's Children: Preserving their Rights, Protecting their Future." It covered various human rights issues addressing India's most vulnerable children. Topics addressed included: "Empowering Street Children," "Protecting Children from Violence and Abuse," " Nutrition as Foundation for Education," "Juvenile Justice in India," and "Advancing Child Rights in India Through Youth Development and Education." Speakers included international representatives from CHILDLINE India, Butterflies of India, the Akshaya Patra Foundation, and distinguished Loyola University Chicago faculty from the Civitas ChildLaw Center and the School of Social Work. The moderator was Jerome McDonnell of WBEZ's "Worldview."

Water Colloquium

April 12-16, 2010

Loyola University Chicago's three campuses explored water issues during a week-long colloquium. The Center For Urban Environmental Research and Policy (CUERP) sponsored a series of events at the university, designed to raise awareness of issues associated with bottled water. The development of a global bottled water industry has inadvertently led to multiple issues of social, legal, environmental, ethical, political and economic concern regarding access to clean water. These issues have become prominent enough that there have been violent conflicts over water in developing countries where the privatization of water is being contested. This Water Colloquium was a response to student concerns about how the bottled water industry is impacting the privatization of water and exploiting communities in developing countries, as well as contributing to the increasingly large island of plastic deposited in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Paul Tough

February 25, 2010

The Center for the Human Rights of Children jointly sponsored an interdisciplinary program, "Replicating the Harlem Children's Zone Model in Chicago" with the School of Law Street Law Program, the Civitas Child Law Center, the School of Education, the Psychology Department, the Public Health Program, the School of Social Work, and the Center for Urban Research and Learning. Paul Tough, New York Times Magazine Contributor and Author of "Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America" was present to give insight on the Harlem Children's Zone ("HCZ"), a 97-block laboratory in central Harlem where Geoffrey Canada is testing a new and sometimes controversial ideas about poverty in America.

President Barack Obama has called for the creation of “Promise Neighborhoods” nationwide, based on the HCZ model. This program allowed for an interdisciplinary group of Chicago experts to express their views and concerns on "what it would take" to replicate this program in Chicago.

Pictures of the Paul Tough Event February 15, 2010

The Center for the Human Rights of Children hosted a presentation titled, "Post-Communist Transition and Children's Educational Rights in Central/East Europe," presented by Dr. Noah W. Sobe, 2009 Faculty Fellow. This presentation addressed how educational guarantees and opportunities have changed in Central/East Europe in the post-communist period, focusing on the educational rights and access of minority populations, language of instruction, and recent democratization initiatives connected with the expansion of the European Union.

First Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking

October 29-31, 2009

“What We Know and What We Need to Know,” held at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. The purpose of this conference was to bring together researchers from all disciplines, in addition to government and non-governmental agencies active in anti-trafficking efforts, to develop a research agenda.

Ms. Kaufka Walts, Director of the CHRC, presented on “Improving U.S. Government Response to Child Trafficking.”

"Childhood Denied: International and Local Realities," hosted by the American Red Cross.

October 22, 2009

Held at Northeastern Illinois University from 7 – 8:30pm. This event explored issues facing children today with a panel of experts, including: Jimmie Briggs, educator and author of Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go to War; the Director of the CHRC, Katherine Kaufka-Walts, national expert on child trafficking issues; and Maurice McFarlin, attorney and professor who has worked extensively with street organizations to prevent gang violence.

CHRC “Meet and Greet” Breakfast

October 15, 2009

In an effort to foster open collaboration with students and faculty throughout the university, the Director of the CHRC, Ms. Kaufka-Walts, hosted a breakfast to discuss Center activities to date, plans for future projects, and ways for faculty and students to collaborate with the Center. The goal of the breakfast was to work to help advance the Center's mission of coordinating and stimulating efforts of the University community to understand, protect and apply the human rights of children in the face of injustice and poverty of body, mind, and spirit.

"Immersion in Colombia" Symposium

September 29, 2009

The Center for the Human Rights of Children hosted a mini-symposium, “Immersion in Colombia: Interdisciplinary Reactions to Colombia's approach to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

Dr. Clemencia Ramirez Herrera, Director of Research at the Universidad de san Buenaventura in Bogota, Colombia was the keynote speaker. Also presenting were LUC graduate students from the fields of law, education and social work.

Pictures of the Mini-Symposium