Sarah J. Diaz

Title/s:  Associate Director of the Center for the Human Rights of Children and Lecturer



Sarah J. Diaz, JD LLM is the Associate Director of the Center for the Human Rights of Children and Lecturer in the School of Law at Loyola University Chicago. Ms. Diaz has worked at the intersection of child migration and human rights for fifteen years, most recently providing consultation services to NGOs working on human rights, migration and international criminal law issues.  These services included sharing her expertise in human rights, parent-child border separation and the rights of migrant children in U.S. immigration proceedings with NGOs including the American Immigration Council, the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights and Project Expedite Justice. Prior to her work in consulting, Ms. Diaz served as the National Case Director for the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights where she co-coordinated and helped facilitate the expansion of the Young Center from two to eight offices with a primary focus on the development, coordination and consistent application of a novel legal approach in an emerging area of law (specifically, importing the framework for the best interests of the child under international law into the U.S. immigration legal framework). Prior to joining the Young Center, Ms. Diaz spent seven years as an attorney and Clinical Instructor with the Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic at DePaul University College of Law. There, Ms. Diaz created and taught multiple clinical programs including the Immigration Policy Advocacy Clinic,  the Advanced Immigrant Detainee Clinic and the Legal Resource Clinic.  In addition to her work as a Clinician, Ms. Diaz also provided legal representation in immigration cases before the DOJ and the Seventh Circuit as well as immigration consultation and legal training in response to technical assistance requests from community-based immigration legal services providers. Ms. Diaz began her career at the National Immigrant Justice Center with the Children's Protection Project representing detained unaccompanied children on their cases for asylum, human trafficking, special immigrant juvenile and U non-immigrant visas. 

Throughout her career, Ms. Diaz has participated in several initiatives designed to create access to justice for children and migrants on a local, state and international level including co-authoring the Illinois Voices Act, serving on the Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force and helping to develop and co-lead a DACA legal services collaborative that directed policy feedback for the Obama Administration.  Ms. Diaz was recently asked to offer her expert opinion on the use of private security firms for migrant child detention to the U.N. Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries. In addition to her advocacy efforts, Ms. Diaz has authored several publications on the human rights of children and migrants including An Elusive Mandate: Enforcing the Prohibition on the Use of Child Soldiers, Failing the Refugee Child: Gaps in the Refugee Convention Relating to Children and Unequal Protection: Disparate Treatment of Immigrant Crime Victims in Cook, the Collar Counties and Beyond.  She was recently awarded the Charles Cheney Hide Award in Public International Law for her article, Parent-Child Border Separations Violate International Law: Why it Matters and What Can Be Done to Protect Children and Families. Ms. Diaz is a graduate of the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, LL.M. Program in International Human Rights.  

Program Areas

Immigration Law Practicum