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Bassina Farbenblum

Associate professor, UNSW

Bassina joined UNSW as in 2009 after a decade as a human rights litigator and clinical legal educator in New York, Mumbai, and Sydney. Bassina established, and currently directs, the UNSW Human Rights Clinic and is founding Co-Director of the global Migrant Worker Justice Initiative. Bassina has led numerous national and global research teams on the rights of migrant workers in Australia, Asia, the US and globally, working closely with civil society, trade unions, business, governments, donors, and international organisations. Her research establishes an evidence base and theoretical frameworks for preventing exploitation of migrant workers and enabling access to justice under domestic and international law. Bassina's current research focuses in particular on the role of states, business, and education providers in preventing and addressing exploitative recruitment, employment and housing practices, including the potential role of technology. Within the UNSW Human Rights Clinic, Bassina leads international litigation, advocacy and policy reform initiatives that advance the rights of refugees and migrants while training the next generation of human rights lawyers.

Before coming to UNSW Bassina practiced at the New York Bar and was a litigation attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project, and at appellate law firm WilmerHale LLP, where she argued the first U.S. Court of Appeals case on the national-security exception to asylum. Bassina also directed a human rights clinical program at Seton Hall Law School. Previously, Bassina was a solicitor at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Sydney, a policy officer at the Australian Human Rights Commission, and a solicitor at Minter Ellison.


  • –present
    Associate Professor, UNSW Law