"As societies build walls of separation between communities,
ICAAD works to remove each brick to illuminate our common humanity"

Parisa Elahi, JD, MSc

 

Parisa Elahi is a lawyer at a Human Rights NGO. Parisa’s previous experience includes pro bono work with the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). Through participation with IRAP, she represented a client who had been denied refugee status, and ultimately presented the substantive points of the client’s appeal at the client’s appeal interview at UNHCR’s offices in Amman, Jordan. She has discussed her work with IRAP in a documentary titled My Beloved Enemy. Parisa has also worked with an Ashoka fellow on the implementation of a renewable energy project that emphasizes local community involvement, education and empowerment. She recently spoke at Georgetown Laws class on Social Entrepreneurship & the Law about her experiences on this project. Parisa is also a member of the Iranian American Bar Association Pro Bono Committee.

#RaiseYourShield

On May 17, 2019, ICAAD Advisor Erin Thomas’ publication: Compacts of Free Association in FSM, RMI, and Palau: Implications for the 2023-2024 Renewal Negotiations (hrbrief.org/2019/03/compacts-of-free-association-in-fsm-rmi-and-palau-implications-for-the-2023-2...) was cited by the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau Jr., in an op-ed published in The Hill (thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/444291-pacific-defense-pact-renewal-vital-to-the-u...). In her piece, Erin points to critical issues stakeholders have raised regarding human trafficking, adoption policies, and COFA migrant rights among other important human rights issues.

Some of the above-mentioned policy gaps span several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly 10 (reduced inequalities) and 17 (partnership for the goals). Holistically, the existing COFA agreements represent the type of inequity that SDG 10 seeks to address. SDG 17 promotes inclusive and participatory decision-making at the international, national, and local levels. Developing transparency on both sides will allow for a more equitable process and outcome for the renewal negotiations.

The issues within the existing agreements also involve SDG 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions) and limited access to justice regarding redress for nuclear testing and environmental destruction. This impacts targets and indicators including SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 3 (good health and well-being). Finally, SDG 10 and 8’s targets for responsible migration policies are important considering the limited provisions for COFA migrants in the U.S. and U.S. territories.
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