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) 

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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.

Referring Clients to MHRC

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.

Learn more about the MHRC Attorney Forum

Partnering with MHRC for Forensic Evaluation Referrals for your Immigration Cases

MHRC Publications

What Should Count as Best Practices of Forensic Medical and Psychological Evaluations for Children Seeking Asylum?

Authors: Maria Joy Ferrera, PhD, LCSW and Minal Giri, MD

Midwest Human Rights Consortium Champions Unaccompanied Children from Around the World

Authors: Minal Giri, MD, FAAP; Sruti Uppuluri, MD; and Mary Elsner JD

This artwork is featured in Unaccompanied, an installation by Jonathan Michael Castillo created in Chicago and funded by the Diane Dammeyer Fellowship in Photographic Arts and Social Issues.

MHRC Events

MHRC Team

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 continues to build an educated and qualified workforce by holding additional trainings on a quarterly basis.

Fall 2021 MHRC Mentorship Gathering

Aimee Hilado, Ph.D. LCSW presented a case that was successfully granted asylum. The Mentorship Gathering provided an introduction to conducting forensic psychological evaluations for asylum seekers. The presentation includes information on how to conduct the interview, how to prepare the affidavit, and highlights the importance of clinical engagement strategies when interviewing survivors of trauma seeking immigration relief.

Mentorship Trainings

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.

For more information on MHRC Mentorship Training, please contact Mary Elsner, Director, Health Equity Initiatives at melsner@illinoisaap.com