University News

WNE School of Law's Dr. Luwam Dirar Champions Human Rights of Migrants at African Commission Event

Published: October 30, 2023 | Categories: All News, Law
WNE School of Law Professor Luwam Dirar

Dr. Luwam Dirar, Assistant Professor at Western New England University School of Law, culminated a remarkable three-year journey with the formal acceptance of the African Guiding Principles on the Human Rights of All Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers by The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR). The historic event took place on Saturday, October 21, 2023, in Arusha, Tanzania.

Dr. Dirar, a highly regarded legal scholar with extensive international academic and practical experience, has been working closely with the ACHPR and colleagues Ian Kysel and Fatma Raach over the past three years to draft these guiding principles. Her dedication to the cause of migrant workers' rights and her commitment to a human rights approach to migration policies have been instrumental in shaping these principles.

"I am a migrant with family and friends who had to take complex journeys for a better life—migration results from lack of democratic values, social oppression, economic opportunities, or climate change," said Dr. Dirar. "I heard personal narratives of human rights abuses in these journeys at transit, host, and destination countries. These narratives motivated me to work to improve the legal protection of migrants and to advocate for a human rights approach to migration policies."

The ACHPR, established under the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, is the premier human rights body of the African Union, responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa. The 77th Ordinary Session of the ACHPR, held from October 20 to November 9, 2023, will feature the official launch of the African Guiding Principles on the Human Rights of All Migrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers.

Dr. Dirar expressed, "The acceptance of African Guiding Principles on the Human Rights of All Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers is a significant step towards safeguarding the rights of those who embark on challenging journeys in search of a better life. My collaboration with the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights has been a privilege, and it underscores the importance of a human rights-based approach to migration policies. These principles reflect our commitment to protecting the dignity and well-being of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in Africa and beyond."

Dr. Dirar's is a legal scholar with international academic and practice experience. Her research and teaching experience, which include prestigious institutions such as the Max Planck Foundation, Harvard University, Cornell University, Pretoria University, Doha Educational City (in collaboration with the Harvard Institute for Global Law and Policy), and the Saint Augustine University of Tanzania, has equipped her with the knowledge and expertise to drive positive change. Her work extends to supporting African governments during times of transition, with a focus on matters related to the rule of law and the law-making processes from a comparative perspective.

With a diverse range of teaching and research interests, including internet law, international human rights law, migration law, and the intersections of international economic law and international relations, Dr. Dirar's contributions to the field of law have been invaluable.

Dr. Dirar's academic journey began with her LL.B. degree from Asmara University, followed by an LL.M. from Cornell Law School and a J.S.D. from Cornell University in 2016. Her dedication to reshaping the understanding of how African states perceive regional integration is evident in her groundbreaking research.

Western New England University is immensely proud of Dr. Dirar's achievements and the global impact of her work. As a private, nationally ranked institution, WNE is committed to preparing work-ready and world-ready graduates and is honored to have Dr. Dirar as part of its esteemed faculty.