International Affairs Family Conference Human Migration: Law, Policy, and Human Rights

July 20, 2019 to July 27, 2019

Human Migration: Law, Policy, and Human Rights

As long as borders have existed, people have crossed them, legally or not. Human migration has become one of our most pressing global issues. Driven by war, civil and domestic violence, climate change, political oppression, and economic inequality, flows of refugees and other migrants have swelled in many parts of the world. Anxiety about migration often fosters violent and hyper-nationalist reactions.
The 2019 International Affairs Conference will consider causes and effects of human migration. We’ll learn about national immigration policies, international agreements, and the rights and aspirations of migrating people—including some of the most vulnerable, resourceful, and inspiring members of our species.
Our faith traditions call us to extend hospitality and care to travelers and strangers. Global covenants assert the human rights of every person. A core ethical challenge of our time is to foster attitudes, relationships, policies, laws, and agreements most likely to produce a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all—including migrants.

Program Speaker

Each morning, the International Affairs conference hears a different speaker. This year we anticipate hosting experts in U.S. immigration law and policy, international agreements on migration and refugees, the social and economic causes and effects of migration, and humanitarian efforts to protect and resettle migrants.

Pardis Mahdavi is the author of Crossing the Gulf, a pathbreaking study of the lives of migrants in the cities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait City. Through stories of the intimate lives of women and their families, she shows how laws and policies can lead migrants into illegality, statelessness, deportation, detention, and abuse.

Pardis is currently Acting Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Before coming to Denver, she served as professor and chair of anthropology, dean of women, and director of the Pacific Basin Institute at Pomona College. She is a graduate of Occidental College, with a master’s in international affairs and PhD in sociomedical sciences and anthropology from Columbia.

In addition to Crossing the Gulf, Pardis has authored three books and edited one more in addition to numerous journal and news articles and is completing a work of literary fiction based on fifteen years of ethnographic fieldwork. Her current work looks at the linkages between culture, diplomacy, and the ethics of engagement.

Pardis has been a fellow at the Social Sciences Research Council, the American Council on Learned Societies, Google Ideas, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Minister of the Week


Program Fee

$175 per adult 18 or over, $135 per youth.

Room & Board Rates

These rates include lodging, meals, and ferry transportation.

IA Standard Shared Standard Single Motel Shared Motel Single
Adult 18+    $1,006 $1,368 $1,239 $1,817




Youth rates are determined by age on the first day of the program, regardless of room type.

IA Under 6 6-11 Yrs 12-17 Yrs
Youths Free $466 $666

Ferry Schedule

Saturday, July 20

2:25 pm Thomas Laighton Depart Portsmouth

Saturday, July 27

8:20 am Thomas Laighton Depart Star


Email Registrar Kristin Laverty