Resisting Borders: Refugee Health, Human Rights and Responsibilities


Refugees and many migrants suffer from limits on their abilities to move around the world, even in pressing or urgent circumstances. They are often forced to leave their homes for reasons beyond their control, including war and civil unrest, political and religious persecution, economics, or famine and other natural or man-made disasters. Once displaced, whether internally or externally, they face pressing needs for food, water, shelter, and health care. Local governments, international agencies and non-governmental organizations often struggle with providing for their needs, particularly in resource-poor regions of the world. Recent socio-political changes in the United States, Western Europe and elsewhere have placed additional restrictions on the rights of migrants and refugees.


In solidarity with these refugees and migrants, we are hosting a no-travel virtual conference to explore the ethical, legal, philosophical, and social issues associated with refugee and migrant health in a world of economic, geopolitical, and psychological borders.


Location: Online (no travel)


Cost: Free


For registration and other


Program Schedule: 


Resisting Borders: Refugee Health, Human Rights and Responsibilities


DAY 1: October 9

5am-9am Eastern Standard Time (EST)

11am-3pm Central European Time (CET)

7pm-11pm Australia (AUS)


Welcome from the conference chairs

Lisa Eckenwiler, George Mason University; Samia Hurst-Manjo, Geneva University Medical School; and Sean Philpott-Jones, Clarkson University

Session 1: Philosophical Perspectives on Refugees and Migrants

5:15am-6:15am EST

11:15am-12:15pm CET

7:15pm-8:15pm AUS


Moderator: Christine Straehle, University of Ottawa


Freedom of Movement: A Moderate View, Adam Hosein, Northeastern University


Global Responsibility for Refugees and Structural Injustice, Serena Parekh,

Northeastern University

The Morality of Deporting ‘Aliens’, Patti Tamara Lenard, University of Ottawa

Discussion (15 minutes)

Break (15 minutes)


Session 2: Migrants and Refugees – Societal Determinants of Health I

6:30am-7:30am EST

12:30pm-1:30pm CET

8:30pm-9:30pm AUS


Moderator: Lisa Schwartz, McMaster University


Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Against Female Refugees, Maya Ezgi Avci, Chicago Kent College of Law

Security for Whom? Unpacking the Gendered Impact of EU Securitization Policies on Migration, Zeinab Khalil, Yale University

I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me. A Study of Migrant Shelters on the Rio Grande Valley-Tamaulipas Border,Bertha Alicia Bermúdez Tapia, University of Colorado-Boulder

Discussion (15 minutes)

Break (15 minutes)


Session 3Migrants and Refugees – Societal Determinants of Health II

7:45am-8:45am EST

12:45pm-1:45pm CET

9:45pm-10:45pm AUS


Moderator: Nina Wild, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich


Ethical Considerations on International Migration: Reflections upon the Case of ChileBáltica Cabieses,Universidad del Desarrollo, with Macarena Chepo, Marcela Oyarte, Margarita Bernales, Ana María McInyre

Environmental Refugees, James Dwyer, Upstate Medical University

Symbolic and Social boundaries in Latin American Migration “Sur-Sur” Reflections upon the Case of Chile, PiedadGálvez, Universidad del Desarrollo, with Nassim Ajraz

Discussion (15 minutes)


Close of Day 1


DAY 2: October 10/11

6pm-9pm EST

12am-3am (October 11th) CET

8am-11am (October 11th) AUS


Session 4: Responsibilities for Justice – States

6:00pm-9:15pm EST

12:00am-1:15am CET

8:00am-9:15am AUS


Moderator: Ryoa Chung, Université de Montréal


What Duties Do States Have Towards Refugees? Sandra Raponi, Merrimack College


Weighing Competing Commitments to Disadvantaged Populations Within and Outside National Borders, Carlisle Runge, National Institutes of Health, with Matthew McCoy, University of Pennsylvania and Marion Danis, National Institutes of Health


The Institution of Asylum and Epistemic Injustice: Warnings and Structural LimitsEzgi Sertler, Michigan State University


Administrative Law in Defense of Refugee Privacy: Case Report on Proposed U.S. Research on Congolese Refugees in Uganda, Gerald S. Schatz, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia



Discussion (15 minutes)


Break (15 minutes)


Session 5: Responsibilities for Justice – Health Care Professionals

9:30pm-10:45pm EST

1:30am-2:45am CET

9:30am-10:45am AUS


Moderator: Matthew Hunt, McGill University


High Moral Distress in Health Care Providers for the Undocumented Immigrants Needing Dialysis, Areeba Jawed,Wayne State University School of Medicine, with S.M. Moe, M. Anderson, L. Wocial and A.M. Torke, Indiana University School of Medicine


Dual Loyalty and Medical Ethics in Offshore Asylum Seeker Detention, Deborah Zion, Victoria University


Medical Deportation: Legal and Ethical Issues, Sana Loue, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine


Discussion (15 minutes)


Close of Day 2


DAY 3: October 11/12

3pm-7 pm EST

9pm-1am CET

5am-9 am (October 12th) AUS


Session 6: Citizen Solidarity in Theory and Practice

3:00pm-3:45pm EST

9:00pm-9:45pm CET

5:00am-5:45am AUS


Moderator: Lisa Eckenwiler, George Mason University


Share My Ground: A Moral and Legal Possibility for Individuals to Welcome and Protect Refugees, Elizabeth Lanphier, Vanderbilt University


De-bordering Academia: From the Theory of Hospitality to the Practice of Hospitableness: Klaus-Gerd Giesen,Université Clermont Auvergne


Discussion (15 minutes)


Break (15 minutes)



Session 7: Migrants and Refugees – Threats to HC and Other Resources

4:00pm-5:15pm EST

10:00pm-11:15pm CET

6:00am-7:15am AUS


Moderator: Samia Hurst-Manjo, Université de Genéve


Access to Healthcare for Migrants in the UK, Kinsi Clarke, Nottingham & Notts Refugee Forum


Cross-Border Migration and the Issues of Accessing Public Services: The Case of Yemeni Migrant Workers in Saudi Arabia: Jameel Ahmed Al-Ghaberi, Thamar University


International Migrant children in Chile: Barriers to Educational and Health ServicesBáltica Cabieses, Universidad de Desarrollo


Discussion (15 minutes)


Break (15 minutes)


Session 8: Migrants and Refugees – Innovation in HCS etc

5:30pm-6:30pm EST

11:30pm-12:30am CET

7:30am-8:30am AUS


Moderator: Sean Philpott-Jones, Clarkson University


Capacity Building through Distance Education for Displaced Syrian Medical Students, Kamier and Aresh Alaei, University of Albany


Electronic Health Records and Vulnerable Migrants: The Framework for Robust ELSI Criteria, Oliver Feeney,National University of Ireland, Galway


Public Health Knowledge Exchange and Translation Initiative for Asylum-Sseeking Refugees, Sheikh Muhammad Zeeshan Qadar, University of Manitoba


Discussion (15 minutes)


Closing Session: Wrap-up and next steps

6:30pm-7:00pm EST

12:30am-1:00am CET

8:30am-9:00am AUS