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Campus News
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Current Issue:  April 22, 2002
Volume 37, Number 19

Law professor earns Fulbright scholarship

Jennifer MooreUNM Associate Professor of Law Jennifer Moore has received a Fulbright scholarship to Tanzania, Africa, for 2002-03.

Moore will teach in the area of refugee law and comparative human rights at the University of Dar es Salaam Faculty of Law.

At the University’s Center for the Study of Forced Migration she will research how the Tanzanian legal system incorporates international refugee and human rights law. “In a lot of ways what we consider here in the United States to be major challenges can be put into perspective by what we see in other parts of the world,” Moore said, noting severe immigration statistics in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Although this will be her first trip to Tanzania, her ties to African nations are long-standing and date back to infancy. A Tanzanian friend of Moore’s father is her godfather. In the early 1980s, while majoring in anthropology at Amherst College, she spent six months in Kenya studying, traveling and working for an economic development agency.

“Unfortunately, I was unable to make a planned trip to Dar es Salaam due to the closed border between the two countries at that time. I have been thinking about returning to the region ever since,” Moore said.

After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1987, Moore joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and served as an associate protection officer in Conakry, Guinea, from 1991-‘93 and in Washington, D.C., from 1993-’94. While working for the U.N. in Washington, she went on a short mission to Rwanda in 1994 to help monitor the repatriation of refugees to Gisenyi and visited border crossings into the former Zaire and Uganda.

She served as a visiting professor at two law schools before coming to UNM in 1995. In 2001, at a refugee protection conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, Moore presented a paper on persecution by non-state agents. There she met the director of University of Dar es Salaam’s Center for the Study of Forced Migration. The two then corresponded about the possibility of Moore visiting.

She said while at the center, she would like to focus her research on the development of Tanzanian asylum law and policy. She is interested in legislation formalizing obligations to asylum seekers and refugees and how those laws are applied in the current political and social climate.

Moore’s experience with the U.N. has a direct affect on students, especially those motivated to do international work, she says. Working with Moore through the UNM Clinical Law Program, several of her students are conducting in-depth research that can be used to strengthen asylum claims.

Topics include the status of Palestinians in Middle Eastern countries; religious persecution, as it is understood by the U.S. courts as a basis to grant asylum; and trafficking in women for forced prosecution as a form of persecution. A number of her students are also working with battered women at Catholic Charities to help them obtain permanent legal residency in the U.S.

Moore begins her Fulbright to Tanzania in October, a five-month project.