2010 Summer Interns
2010 Overseas Summer International Human Rights Law Interns: (From left) Avril Rua, Mark Shope, Eman Botros, Ntsika Fakudze, Mohamed Mohamedain, Duncan Ojwang, Evelyn Aero, Professor George Edwards (PIHRL Director), Ibrahim Garba, Evalyn Aruasa, Steven Jorgenson, Bobby Lam, Samantha Sledd, Kelly Poole, Kristen Hunsberger, and Aaron Krieger
List of 2010 Interns and Placement Locations:
- Evelyn Aero - Helena, Montana and Washington, DC
- Eman Botros - Toronto, Canada
- Ntsika Fakudze - Austin, Texas and New York, New York
- Ibrahim Garba, JD - Atlanta, Georgia
- Kristen Hunsberger – Geneva, Switzerland
- Steven Jorgenson – Frederiksted, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
- Aaron Krieger – Kampala, Uganda and Eldoret, Kenya
- Bobby Lam – Chiang Mai, Thailand and Hanoi, Viet Nam
- Mohamed Mohamedain – Chicago, Illinois
- Duncan Ojwang, JD – Jinja, Uganda and Eldoret, Kenya
- Kelly Poole – Lima, Peru
- Avril Rua – Vienna, Austria
- Mark Shope – Geneva, Switzerland
- Samantha Sledd – Arusha, Tanzania
A candidate of the Master of Laws (LL.M.) International Human Rights Law Track, Evelyn interned with the Indian Law Resource Center. Evelyn helped prepare the report on the right of indigenous peoples to a free, prior, and informed consent with respect to matters concerning their rights and well-being. Evelyn conducted a research on indigenous peoples in the African region, including the Bagyeli of Cameroon, Ogiek of the Mau forest in Kenya, Twa of Rwanda, and Batwa of Uganda. She studied the impact of development projects on indigenous peoples in various parts of the globe, including North America. She also examined their access to education and healthcare as well as exercise of their right to political representation. Evelyn dealt with indigenous peoples’ issues involving their right to self-determination, non-discrimination, ancestral land, culture, and survival.
Evelyn wrote an internship paper titled Human Rights Implications of Development Projects: A Case Study of World Bank Projects and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Eman participated in the microfinance undertakings of Impact First International. She also helped jumpstart the organization’s project to publish its newsletter. Eman also assisted the organization in networking and developing collaborative activities with human rights organizations in Toronto as well as in pursuing fundraising projects in universities and schools.
Eman wrote a paper focusing on women’s rights in India.
Ntsika initially interned with two organizations – the Bernardo Kohler Center (BKC) and the Center for Survivors of Torture (CST) – that complement each other in assisting torture survivors from overseas who face immigration issues in the United States. Ntsika assisted his supervising attorney in a cancellation of removal proceedings, in handling special immigrant juvenile cases, and in filing applications for asylum and parole for different clients. He attended immigration proceedings in San Marcos and San Antonio, Texas. Ntsika prepared and submitted to his supervising attorney a memorandum on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child insofar as the treaty bears significance to cases involving special immigrant juvenile status, although the US has only signed, but not ratified the treaty yet. Ntsika also visited the detention center for boys in San Antonio. With Texas attorneys, Ntsika also did client interviews and consultations involving immigration cases. Ntsika also joined the commemoration of World Refugees Day in Austin.
Afterwards, Ntsika pursued an internship with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs headquartered in New York in Fall 2010. He worked with the secretariat of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Ntsika helped in the drafting of a resolution by states parties to this treaty addressing various disabilities issues. After deliberations and revisions by states parties, the draft was eventually submitted to the UN General Assembly for adoption. He also helped in the publication of a newsletter as well as in updating the UN website pertaining to the treaty. Ntsika also gave some ideas to his host organization on how to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
A Master of Laws (LL.M.) International Human Rights Law Track candidate, Ntsika wrote an internship paper titled Rights of the Child for Juvenile Immigrants in Texas, United States of America.
Ibrahim interned with the Public Health Ethics Unit of the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, a United States federal body. He worked on a privacy project, including a research on the Freedom of Information Act and public health ethics implicating human rights.
Ibrahim gave a PowerPoint Presentation to officers of the Public Health Ethics Committee tackling the “connections between health and human rights.” Ibrahim wrote a paper on the “growing gaps in healthcare access” titled The Right to health in the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): An Inquiry.
As an intern of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kristen performed tasks related to the Universal Human Rights Index, a database of official documents produced by the various UN human rights treaty bodies. The index provides instant access to human rights information about all countries in the UN system, particularly on the concluding observations and recommendations of the UN human rights treaty bodies, and on the UN Human Rights Council’s special procedures. Kristen also verified country data and information, including those relating to the country’s human rights treaty ratification status. Kristen also assisted the Human Rights Committee by providing supporting documents to its chairman and secretary. She also attended sessions of the UN Human Rights Council, such as the ones involving the special rapporteurs on the right to education and multinational businesses. Kristen likewise attended the Geneva Forum on Social Change.
Kristen wrote an internship paper titled United States and Mexico Relations: Implementing a Human Rights Perspective.
Steven interned with the Disability Rights Center of the Virgin Islands, a nongovernmental organization catering to employment and education discrimination cases. Steven assisted in setting up a press conference organized by the organization demanding for reforms to “Baker Acting,” a civil commitment statute affecting persons with mental disabilities. The organization is calling for reforms that would allow such persons to exercise greater control over their healthcare and to raise the standard of proof required to subject them to confinement. To assist the organization with its advocacy, Steven comprehensively reviewed the United States’ civil commitment statutes.
Steven also helped refine the organization’s employment and education intake procedures according to the salient features of the American with Disabilities Act. Steven handled client intakes as well as assisted persons with disabilities, by explaining to them, among others, the workings of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He likewise did research on the “law of the case” doctrine as well as on bullying statutes with respect to private schools. Steven also attended mediation hearings involving schoolchildren.
Steven wrote an internship paper titled Disability Rights, the United Nations and How It All Comes Together in A Globalizing World.
Aaron interned with the National Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda (NACWOLA) and the Legal Aid Centre of Eldoret (LACE), in Eldoret, Kenya.
Aaron participated in the training on succession and inheritance rights under Ugandan law among locals in Bubutu, who live near the Kenyan-Ugandan border. Using various national, regional, and international legal instruments, Aaron helped NACWOLA incorporate human rights principles in its training manuals.
Aaron also critiqued the then HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Bill in light of the provisions of the Ugandan Constitution and the Ugandan Children Act.
Aaron also attended the forum hosted by the Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA) that oversees transparency and accountability in healthcare in Uganda.
During his internship, Aaron witnessed “firsthand during my travels to Bubutu on the Kenyan/Ugandan border” how “treatable diseases are killing the people of Uganda.”
During the debate sponsored by UNAIDS among Ugandan national stakeholders, Aaron articulated his criticism of the draft HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Bill and recommended that “protective measures” be clearly defined.
Together with fellow interns Samantha Sledd and Duncan Ojwang, Aaron joined Professor Edwards in participating in the International Criminal Court Review Conference held in Kampala, Uganda. Aaron participated in various ICC Review Conference sessions that tackled controversial issues such as amnesty, complimentarity, and so-called “tribal justice”.
In partnership with fellow intern Duncan Ojwang, Aaron helped and participated in a presentation by the Legal Aid Centre of Eldoret (LACE) “on legal and ethical issues surrounding health workers and HIV” given to postgraduate students. Aaron also assisted LACE with its legal assistance work for persons with HIV/AIDS.
Aaron wrote an internship paper titled A Critique of Uganda’s National Response to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic.
Bobby interned with the Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEA CLE), a nongovernmental organization based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Bobby enjoyed learning about dynamic, grassroots approaches in popularizing international human rights law through his participation in BABSEA’s “International Law Jeopardy” game, designed to help familiarize interns with international law, the UN system, and nongovernmental organizations (NGO) terminology.
Bobby participated in continuing legal education lessons, discussing the different types of donors and how to effectively prepare grant proposals.
On top of his exchanges with other international interns through BABSEA’s country groups, Bobby also “immersed” himself with the “crisis mothers” of Wildflower, a women’s center, giving him insights about the life of women survivors facing differing forms of crisis.
Bobby completed the second phase of his internship with the Institute on Policy, Law and Development, a BABSEA CLE partner organization, based in Hanoi, Viet Nam.
A Master of Laws (LL.M.) International Human Rights Law Track candidate, Mohamed worked with the Taxi Worker Organizing Project of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in Chicago, Illinois.
Mohamed mainly worked with the AFSC in tackling issues of violence inflicted upon taxi drivers. Mohamed assisted the organization in coordinating and documenting cases of violence against taxicab drivers. Mohamed also went to the police station in order to assist AFSC in tracking down cases involving violence committed against taxi drivers and in helping them seek redress. Mohamed attended court proceedings and assisted the AFSC in providing legal assistance to taxi drivers.
Mohamed also conducted a research on Illinois laws and regulations pertaining to sales tax exemption as may be relevant to the charitable and educational activities of the United Taxidrivers Community Council (UTCC). Along with AFSC officials, Mohamed also met with several taxi drivers in order to discuss and provide legal assistance with respect to their work conditions and problems.
Mohamed also contributed an article written in Arabic for the UTCC Voice. Concerning the taxi drivers’ right, under international human rights law, to freedom of association.
Mohamed wrote an internship paper titled Taxicab Drivers in the City of Chicago and the Right to Freedom of Association.
A women’s rights champion, Duncan interned with the Women Rights Initiative (WORI), a nongovernmental organization (NGO) based in Jinja, Uganda. As part of his work with WORI’s human rights department, Duncan helped advocate and raise awareness on women’s human rights issues by teaching some 40 community leaders about domestic abuse.
A Master of Laws (LL.M.) International Human Rights Law Track candidate, Duncan also completed his internship with the Legal Aid Centre of Eldoret (LACE) in Eldoret, Kenya. He provided legal assistance to LACE clients, such as conducting intake interviews and drafting demand letters. Together with his fellow LACE intern Aaron Krieger, Duncan also filed motions in court pertaining to LACE clients.
Together with Professor George Edwards and fellow interns Samantha Sledd and Aaron Krieger, Duncan participated in the historic International Criminal Court (ICC) Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda. During the conference, Duncan got interviewed by Allvoices, who quoted Duncan as calling on governments to work with nongovernmental organizations in order to reach a compromise on issues related to the Rome Statute of the ICC.
A licensed Illinois attorney, Duncan wrote an internship paper titled ICC Prosecution of Kenya Post Election Violence Offences.
Kelly interned with the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos (APRODEH) in Lima, Peru.
Kelly helped document the protest action staged by some 500 people from Peru against drilling operations by mining companies.
Kelly studied and compiled the recommendations from various human rights groups concerning the protests on 5 June 2009 by indigenous people against oil drilling in Bagua. Located in northern Peru, Bagua forms part of the Amazon region. Kelly also helped in the translation of APRODEH’s press release expressing support for a prominent environmental activist from Peru.
Kelly assisted APRODEH in researching and compiling anti-protest laws and cases from the United States, South America (particularly Argentina and Paraguay), and Europe (particularly England). Kelly also did a research on internal security and anti-terrorism laws in Europe.
Kelly also participated in a seminar facilitated by an APRODEH attorney tackling discriminatory practices against the indigenous people in Peru. She also joined a vigil for an environmental activist who involuntarily disappeared after opposing the incursion of oil companies in Peru about 24 years ago.
Kelly wrote her internship paper titled Convention No. 169 (1989) in the Context of Bagua, dealing with the government’s failure to comply with Convention 169—
Convention Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries (1989)—that Peru ratified on 2 February 1994.
Avril served as an intern of Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE), a European network of women’s shelters and counseling services designed to prevent violence against women and children, based in Vienna, Austria.
A candidate in the Master of Laws (LL.M.) International Human Rights Law Track, Avril helped WAVE in coordinating with various groups and in compiling European country reports dealing with violence against women.
Avril wrote about the Global Network of Women’s Shelters as well as WAVE commentaries on European protection orders against abusive spouses for posting on the WAVE website. Avril wrote articles and helped WAVE in publishing issues of its newsletter.
Avril also attended court proceedings involving domestic issues.
Avril wrote an internship paper titled Austrian Anti-Violence Legislation.
Mark interned with the Centre for Civil and Political Rights (The CCPR Centre), a nongovernmental organization (NGOs) in Geneva, Switzerland.
In the course of his internship, Mark sharpened his knowledge and skills in United Nations human rights reporting from the perspective of NGOs seeking to realize the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Mark attended sessions of the UN Human Rights Committee that monitors and oversees the enforcement by states parties of the provisions of the ICCPR. Mark liaised and assisted NGOs from Kuwait, Iran, Cameroon, Bulgaria and other countries in preparing “shadow” reports to the Committee. He also helped the CCPR Centre in editing NGO “shadow” reports.
On behalf of a coalition of NGOs from Kazakhstan, Mark also delivered a statement before the Human Rights Committee, highlighting the NGO coalition’s civil and political rights’ issues. Mark also attended numerous proceedings of the Committee who reviewed various periodic state reports as well as private luncheon meetings between Committee members and NGO representatives.
Mark further attended meetings of the Inter-Committee Meeting of UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies at Palais Wilson.
Mark also conducted a research in order to assist the CCPR Centre in getting accredited with a special consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council.
Mark wrote an internship paper titled Realizing the Protection of Human Rights in Taiwan Through the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Thoughts on Taiwan’s Enactment of the Act to Implement the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Samantha interned with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania. Under the supervision of ICTY legal officers and judges, Samantha studied transcripts of testimonies and assisted the tribunal’s legal officers in evaluating evidence pertaining to ICTY cases.
Samantha complemented her ICTY internship with her participation, in the company of Professor Edwards and her fellow interns Duncan Ojwang and Aaron Krieger, in the International Criminal Court Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda.
Samantha wrote an internship paper titled Legal Essay: The Development and Current International Status of the Crime of Conspiracy to Commit Genocide.