center for refugee and gender studies word mark logoRegister as an Expert Witness with the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies

Based at UC Hastings College of the Law, the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) has been at the forefront of the struggle to protect the fundamental human rights of refugee women, children, LGBTQ individuals, and others fleeing persecution. Among other efforts, CGRS provides technical assistance to attorneys representing asylum seekers. One of CGRS’s resources is the Expert Witness Database, which helps attorneys find country conditions experts, mental health or medical evaluators, or others who can serve as experts in asylum cases. There continues to be a growing need for experts. Persons who are interested in being listed in the database can submit their information to CGRS for consideration here.

Psychology Immigration Forensic Toolkit

coming soon

Further Reading and Listening

Thomas O’Donnell, “Trauma and Immigration [A brief history of mental health examinations in early immigration enforcement],”, March 24, 2021.

On Being with Krista Tippett, “Bessel van der Kolk — How Trauma Lodges in the Bod‪y,” December 26, 2019.

Richardson John T. E. Howard Andrew Knox Pioneer of Intelligence Testing at Ellis Island. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011. [Psych Central Reviews]

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Beyond Proof, Credibility Assessment in EU Asylum Systems: Full Report, May 2013


The “Compassion in Immigration” project is a continuation of an ongoing collaboration between the UC Davis law and medical schools in a project titled “Transforming Refugee Mental Health: Improving Legal Assessment of Credibility through Science.” Following two interdisciplinary symposiums, which brought together over seventy professionals, including lawyers, mental health providers, researchers and academics, refugee resettlement specialists, and medical professionals, from over twenty countries, this project led to the publication of a report titled Stakeholder Perspectives Report: Focus Group Findings on Migrant Legal-Mental Health Intersectionality. We now seek to implement some of the most important recommendations from the findings.

Transforming Refugee Mental Health: Focus Group Findings on Migrant Legal-Mental Health Intersectionality
October 25, 2019
Aldana, Raquel and Patrick Marius Koga, “Stakeholder Perspectives Report: Focus Group Findings on Migrant Legal-Mental Health Intersectionality”
Evans, Tyler B., “Native American Health”
Skwara, Alea C., “Trauma and Memory in the Brain”
Ton, Hendry, “Refugee Mental Health” 

UC Davis hosts first refugee-law-health interdisciplinary meeting
November 9, 2018
Aguilar-Gaxiola UCDavis Forum
Pirzada-Refugee Health and Law Forum
Refugee Forum_RESTART
Karaki RAHI Presentation