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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. 

March 23, 2018
The Trump Administration seeks to prevent refugees who pass through Mexico from receiving asylum in the United States. In addition to pushing for legislative change that would allow the U.S....
March 16, 2018
This year the Trump Administration is engaging in an unprecedented assault on asylum seekers and refugees. From the refugee ban to fear-mongering over MS-13, turning back asylum seekers at our border...
February 27, 2018
New York City—Human Rights First today released a new report on immigration detention in New Jersey that analyzes the mental, physical, and legal impacts of detention on immigrants and...
February 27, 2018
Every year, the U.S. government locks up hundreds of thousands of immigrants despite the existence of effective—and cost-effective—alternative-to-detention programs. Detention itself can be...