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King Hall Students Flowing Across Borders: Third Year Student Externing for the UNHCR

Posted By Rabia Paracha, Oct 9, 2011

Jihan Kahssay, a third year student and a UC Human Rights fellow, is clerking for the UN Refugee Agency, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  She began her experience there this past summer and is continuing there for the fall semester of her third year at King Hall.  Jihan is helping provide a collaborative and rapid response to the drought emergency affecting refugees in southern Ethiopia, as well as providing international protection to refugees residing in Addis Ababa
Refugees are among the most vulnerable memebers of a community because they lack the protection of their country of origin, and regularly face serious legal, security, economic, and psychosocial protection challenges in their country of asylum. As such, they are the humanitarian concern of the entire globe. 
The extreme drought in the Horn of Africa has created one of the greatest humanitarian emergencies in the world, affecting approximately 10 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Kenya. Each day, over 2000 asylum seekers have crossed into the Ethiopian border. The UNHCR in Ethiopia, mandated with the protection of refugees and internally displaced persons, has worked endlessly with the government and implementing partners to respond to the crisis in the southern region. 
Jihan supported the UNHCR by liaising with implementing partners, managing task force meetings and information about the crisis, and supporting with the Addis Ababa caseload to ensure continued support for local refugees. Jihan says, "I've come to really appreciate my professors and classmates at King Hall and the Immigration Law Clinic for providing me the academic and professional support to ensure that I perform as competently, ethically, and fairly as possible when working with refugees during one of the most desperate humanitarian emergencies in our times."