Women’s Human Rights Speaker Series: Fleeing for Safety Across International Borders

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December 9, 2008
Noon – 1 p.m.| Briggs and Morgan, Minneapolis

Briggs and Morgan, Professional Association and The Advocates for Human Rights co-present the Women's Human Rights Speaker Series. The next presentation on December 9 will focus on the Hague Convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction.

Jeffrey Edleson, Sudha Shetty and Cari O'Brien will present a brief overview of the Hague Convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction and what role domestic violence plays in international abductions. The speakers will discuss cases of battered mothers who have returned to the U.S. with their children only to face Hague Convention petitions in federal and state courts filed by their abusive partners. They will also provide an overview of the U.S. Department of Justice-funded study on Hague Convention cases and their work to develop a new online resource for lawyers, judges and advocates who work with battered mothers and their children.

About the Speakers

Jeffrey L. Edleson, Ph.D., is a professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota and director of the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse. He has published over 100 articles and 10 books on the topics of domestic violence, program evaluation and group work. His research and program development focus is on children exposed to domestic violence.

Sudha Shetty, Esq., is director of the International Fellowship Program at the University of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. She speaks and writes extensively on domestic violence issues facing immigrant women and women of color. She has been a consultant to the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney, L.L.P. on diversity issues. In her former role as director of the Seattle University Law School's Access to Justice Institute, she developed the Hague Convention Project and supervised both the development of a national database on Hague Convention cases and a Washington State judges' bench guide on this issue. She is regularly in contact with battered mothers, attorneys and judges involved in Hague Convention hearings.

Cari O'Brien, J.D., is a graduate of Macalester College and William Mitchell College of Law. She first began her work on the Hague Domestic Violence Project with Sudha Shetty while attending Seattle University School of Law, and is pleased to again be a part of this project. As a 2006 Upper Midwest Human Rights Fellow, Cari traveled to Rwanda to research the aftereffects of the 1994 genocide, focusing on women's and children's issues. While maintaining relationships with contacts in Rwanda, Cari also serves as a board member for the Irwin Andrew Porter Foundation and stays involved in the Twin Cities performing arts scene year round. She is currently employed as an attorney editor/project manager with FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business.