PLHD Convenes London Symposium on Migration


Location: Notre Dame’s London Centre


On December 6-7, 2012, the Program on Law and Human Development hosted an inter-disciplinary symposium on Human Development and Migration at the Notre Dame London Law Centre.

As capstone event to 18 months of programming around the theme of human development and migration, the symposium brought together a distinguished group of scholars from both the United States and Europe representing various disciplines, including law, political science, anthropology, international relations, economics, and theology. Symposium participants also included individuals in high level policy and political positions.

The symposium generated a lively discussion across disciplinary boundarie around several broad questions, such as: What can a human development approach contribute to our understanding of migration issues generally? How is it related to, and also distinctive from, human rights paradigms? Can it generate innovative practical insights with policy implications?


Alexander Aleinikoff’s address entitled “The Responsibility to Solve” served as the symposium’s centerpiece. An expert on refugee law and policy, now UNCHR Deputy High Commissioner, and former Dean of Georgetown Law Center, Mr. Aleinikoff proposed a new approach for the international community to address intractable refugee situations that entails a morally-based commitment from the world community to find lasting solutions, rather than merely legal remediation. [Mr. Aleinikoff delivered his address at Notre Dame Law School in March 2012; a recording of that address can be viewed here.]

While strengthening relationships between scholars and practitioners, the interdisciplinary symposium also left its participants with new questions to consider in the trajectory of their work. Photos from the London symposium can be found here.