MIDWEST HUMAN RIGHTS CONSORTIUM
The Midwest Human Rights Consortium (MHRC) is a referral network of multi-institutional and interdisciplinary professionals who perform trauma-informed forensic evaluations for individuals seeking asylum in the U.S that operates under the Refugee Immigrant Child Health Initiative (RICHI).
Referring Clients to MHRC
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, MHRC is operating at limited capacity but will do its best to accommodate and fulfill your evaluation requests. For questions or concerns, please contact Mary Elsner, Director, Health Equity Initiatives at email@example.com.
For attorneys interested in referring clients to MHRC for medical or psychological forensic evaluations, please complete our standard referral form. Upon submission of your request, MHRC will forward all essential case information to its network of trained evaluators and keep you updated as your case is placed.
Please note: It is highly suggested to submit cases with a deadline as far in advance as possible in an effort to ensure all clients have the opportunity for a forensic examination. Completing a referral form does not guarantee the completion of a forensic examination. Placement of all cases is subject to the availability of MHRC evaluators.
MHRC is the only central referral hub of its kind in the Midwest, officially launching in January 2019 with its first forensic asylum evaluation training conference in Chicago, presented in association with the Coalition for Immigrant Mental, Loyola University School of Social Work, Center for Immigrant and Refugee Accompaniment, and the University of Illinois - Chicago.
On January 19, 2019, RICHI sponsored its first training designed to equip health professionals with the tools and knowledge they need to support unaccompanied immigrant children in their applications for asylum and other special visas.
This all-day training was open and applicable to physicians, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and general mental health practitioners. The curriculum focused on the following topics:
- Human rights law, asylum law, and the critical role of the health professional and forensic documentation in immigration cases
- Physical and psychological evidence of torture and other human rights abuses
- Discussion of issues specific to the evaluation of children
- Effective medical-legal documentation, including affidavit writing
- Best practices for collaboration between health professionals and attorneys
- Meeting and networking with other human rights-minded health professionals
In all, a total of 110 physicians and mental health professionals attended the session, forming the bedrock of MHRC's professional network and officially beginning the group's capacity building operations.
Since this inaugural training, MHRC has held three case-based mentorship trainings - two on mental health evaluations and one centered on medical evaluations. MHRC will continue to build an educated and qualified workforce by holding additional trainings on a quarterly basis.
To build a trained workforce of forensic evaluators to fulfill medical and psychological referral requests, MHRC conducts quarterly Mentorship Trainings featuring guest speakers, case studies, and other forms of peer-to-peer education. You can access recorded versions of these trainings below.
Asylum Overview & Attorney-Expert Collaboration
Ashley Huebner, Associate Director of Legal Services at the National Immigrant Justice Center, presents on what to expect from legal counsel, established elements of proof, affidavit writing, and expert witness testimony.