Castan Centre Report Launch: Migrant Precariousness in the Time of COVID-19

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Event Details

16 February 2021 at 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm
Online via Zoom


Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many migrants have been particularly vulnerable to economic and social hardship, given their concentration in deeply affected sectors of the economy, such as hospitality, and their exclusion from welfare payments.

During this launch, the authors of the report will discuss the significance of the sudden economic and social crisis, the vulnerabilities of migrants in the labour market and the need for policy responses that both recognise Australia’s human rights obligations and target the intersecting causes of migrants’ precariousness. The discussion is followed by a Q&A session.

This event is in partnership with Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre (MMIC).


Speakers: Professor the Hon Kevin H Bell AM QC, Associate Professor Heli Askola, Associate Professor Helen Forbes-Mewett, Dr Olha Shmihelska

Professor the Hon. Kevin H Bell AM QC
Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash Law

Professor the Hon Kevin Bell AM QC is the Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law in the Faculty of Law at Monash University. He was a justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria for fifteen years and wrote a number of leading judgments under the Victorian Charter of Human Rights, including Kracke, Patrick’s Case and PBU and NJE. He was president of the Forensic Leave Panel and president of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Before becoming a judge, Professor Bell was for twenty years a barrister and Queens Counsel with a national practise in human rights and administrative, native tile and constitutional law. He has a Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law from Oxford University and in 2017 was awarded the honour of Member of the Order of Australia for ‘significant service to the law and to the judiciary, to native title and human rights, and the community’.

Associate Professor Heli Askola
Monash Law

Dr Heli Askola is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, Monash University. Her research focuses on the rights of migrants, the global and regional regulation of migration, labour and sexual exploitation and violence against women.

Associate Professor Helen Forbes-Mewett
Monash Arts and Deputy Director, Monash Migration & Inclusion Centre

Associate Professor Forbes-Mewett is a Sociologist in the School of Social Sciences. She is Deputy Director of the Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre (MMIC). Her work focuses on human security, migration and social inclusion with a particular focus on international students.

Dr Olha Shmihelska
Expert - European matters, Dataminr

Olha Shmihelska holds a PhD from Monash University on the integration of skilled migrants in Germany and Australia. She has worked as Research Assistant in Faculty of Law and Faculty of Arts in projects pertaining to immigration policy and diaspora issues.

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