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Eleni Bakst

Equal Justice Works Fellow

As an Equal Justice Works Fellow on the Refugee Protection team, Eleni Bakst works to protect and advance the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. Eleni’s work includes legal and policy research and advocacy relating to U.S. immigration detention and U.S. and regional asylum systems, as well as strategic impact litigation to challenge systemic rights violations. 

Eleni holds a Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law. During law school, Eleni worked on a wide array of international and refugee issues through internships at the International Rescue Committee in Washington D.C., the Wake County Public Defender’s Office, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. She participated in the International Human Rights Clinic where she was involved in the research and drafting of a report analyzing how counter terrorism financing rules impact women’s rights organizations and gender equality. Eleni also volunteered with the CARA Pro Bono Project at the family detention center in Dilley, Texas, both during law school and since coming to Human Rights First. 

Prior to law school, Eleni worked as an English as a Second Language instructor for adult immigrants at the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights. 

Eleni is fluent in Spanish. 

August 28, 2019
Case Summary: CAIR Coalition v. Trump Download The Trump administration has launched an unprecedented assault against asylum seekers. In its latest move, it issued a sweeping asylum ban,...
June 27, 2019
The forced return policy is a violation of domestic and international law that rejects basic safeguards intended to prevent the return of refugees to danger. The United States has committed to ...
February 13, 2019
On January 29, 2019, the Trump Administration began implementing its perversely dubbed “Migration Protection Protocols.” In reality, this policy is about denying—not providing—protection to refugees...
November 27, 2018
This year the Trump Administration has engaged in an unprecedented assault on asylum seekers and refugees seeking protection at the southern border. From criminally prosecuting asylum...