Every year, the U of T Faculty of Law's International Human Rights Program (IHRP) sends summer fellows funded by the law school and by participating law firms to work in human rights organizations in countries around the world. Fellows send mid-term reports during their internship, and then file a more detailed report once they are finished. Below are links to featured summer or final reports.

2019: Featured Report

Teodora Pasca

United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), The Hague, Netherlands

"I worked in Chambers supporting the legal staff of the IRMCT judiciary. In several cases, I was asked to survey the law on issues the tribunal had not yet concretely decided. Much of my research involved consulting criminal law and procedural standards across international and domestic jurisdictions--everything from the circumstances in which to admit hearsay, to what to do when an accused dies before the completion of their appeal."

Read more on the IHRP website >>

Teodora Pasca in front of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. Credit: Rebecca Dickey.

Teodora Pasca in front of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. Credit: Rebecca Dickey.

2018: Featured Report

Rachel Bryce

International Migration Law unit at the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Geneva, Switzerland

"I was a part of a five-woman team with two other exceptional interns who have become lifelong friends. In this tight-knit team, I researched LGBTI migrant rights and discretionary humanitarian protection. I authored and co-authored Information Notes on this research to update the IOM staff on the current state of international law. I attended and reported on the Global Compact for Refugees consultations and Human Rights Council (HRC) events.

To any future IHRP fellows, I recommend taking full advantage of both the professional and personal opportunities that come from the internship experience. Ask for work you are passionate about, surround yourself with like-minded, adventurous individuals, and travel as much and as cheaply as possible."

Read more on the IHRP website >>

Rachel Bryce at Palais des Nation, Geneva

2016: Featured Report

Kerry Sun
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Office of the Prosecutor (Trial Division), The Hague, Netherlands

"As a legal intern with the Trial Division, I assisted the prosecution team on the ICTY’s final trial, Prosecutor v Ratko Mladić. In June, I participated in a mock trial at the ICTY with interns from the International Criminal Court and other international organizations in The Hague, a fantastic experience that allowed us to put what we learned into practice."

Read more on the IHRP website >>


Kerry Sun at the mock trial at the ICTY.
Kerry Sun at the mock trial at the ICTY

2015: Featured Report

Ashley Major
Human Rights Watch

"I found [our] research to be both fascinating and incredibly frustrating. Alleging war crimes and crimes against humanity is one matter, but attempting to prove them is another ... These are some of the questions we faced: was the theft of cattle and destruction of personal property equivalent to a crime against humanity because it prevented people from practicing their livelihoods? ..."

Read more on the IHRP website >>

Girls waiting in line for water in the UNMISS camp near Bentiu, South Sudan
Girls waiting in line for water in the UNMISS camp near Bentiu, South Sudan

2014: Featured Report

Paloma van Groll
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, South Africa

"As an intern with the UNHCR in Pretoria, South Africa this summer, I interviewed many refugees and asylum-seekers who travelled to South Africa from countries as far as Somalia and Ethiopia. This journey usually takes months, and those persons might travel through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe and may have passed through refugee camps in these countries."


Pamela van Groll (right) at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in South Africa
Paloma van Groll (right) at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in South Africa

2013: Featured Report

Sarah Beamish
Centre for Public Interest Law (CEPIL), Accra, Ghana

"The summer also gave me an unforgettable chance to get to know Ghana, which is so different than anywhere else I have lived in ways that were both wonderful and challenging. I made some dear friends and colleagues while I lived there, and thanks to the famous Ghanaian hospitality, I saw more of the country and became integrated into local life much more than I had expected to in such a short period of time...."

Read the full report (PDF) >>

Sarah Beamish (centre) in Accra, Ghana
Sarah Beamish (centre) in Accra, Ghana

2011: Featured Report

Benjamin Liston
United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Nepal

For my internship, I dealt with the first stage of the refugee claim ... I would hear the refugee’s story, research the situation in the county of origin, scour relevant directives and guidance notes and treaties and precedents, and eventually write a decision, concluding whether or not this person met the Convention definition of a refugee.

Read the full report (PDF) >>

2011 IHRP intern Benjamin Liston in Nepal
IHRP intern Benjamin Liston in Nepal

2010: Featured Reports

Heather Burnett
Irish Family Planning Association, Dublin, Ireland

"During my first five weeks at the office, I wrote a shadow report for the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights regarding Ireland’s lack of progress on reproductive health rights under the respective covenant. I am currently working on a similar report for the UN’s Universal Periodic Review. This report will have a broader focus, and will survey the large variety of international agreements to which Ireland’s criminalization of abortion is contrary."

Read more 2010 reports >>

Heather Burnett (right)
IHRP intern Heather Burnett (right) at the Irish Family Planning Association.

2009: Summer Letters

Eileen Rhein
Human Rights Law Network, Delhi, India

"I am interning in the Women's Justice Initiative ... this initiative provides comprehensive free legal services to low income and marginalized women, and utilizes legal education, advocacy and policy analysis to promote equal rights for women.  With such a broad range of activities, days in the office vary drastically, with the result that there is always something new and interesting for me to engage in, from trips to the Court and client interviews, to conferences and intra-office roundtables."

Read all the 2009 summer letters >>

Eileen Rhein
Eileen Rhein (right) on a field visit to a local village outside New Delhi

2008: Summer Letters

Steven Hoffman
World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

"My work for the World Health Organization has been rewarding, challenging and inspiring, and has proved to be one of the most valuable learning experiences of my life. The opportunity to engage in meaningful, hands-on work in an international context has brought new relevance to my academic studies."

Read all the 2008 summer letters >>

Steven Hoffman with WHO Director-General Margaret Chan
Steven Hoffman (left) with WHO Director-General Margaret Chan

2007: Summer Letters

Kate Oja
Open Dialogue Project (ODP), Uzbekistan

"The ODP is working to provide training, separately, for both human rights defenders and government officials, in order to better equip them with the skills in communication, conflict management and negotiation that are the foundations for a trusting and constructive relationship in the future."

Read all the 2007 summer letters >>

Kate Oja (right)
Kate Oja (right) with a member of her host family

2006: Summer Letters

Tara Doolan
Girl Child Network (Zimbabwe)

"I began the summer by drafting legislation aimed at helping protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.  At present, no such legislation exists to offer specific protection to children, and so GCN took the initiative to begin drafting a bill called the Child Sexual Offences Bill."

Read all the 2006 summer letters >>

The Director of the Girl Child Network, Betty Makoni (left), with Tara Doolan
The Director of the Girl Child Network, Betty Makoni (left), with Tara Doolan

2005: Summer Letters

Laura Hage
Asociacion Casa Alianza (Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala)

"Casa Alianza's legal mandate is to protect, defend and enforce children's rights. I have had the opportunity to interact and work with a group of dedicated and exceptional people, as well as live several experiences that have made my time here worthwhile and unforgettable."

Read all the 2005 summer letters >>

Laura Hage with Casa Alianza Legal Programme colleague Manases
IHRP intern Laura Hage with a colleague at the Casa Alianza Legal Program

2004: Featured Reports

Stephanie Pearce

"During my time at HURINET and in Uganda I learned invaluable lessons about the practicalities of human rights work in a developing country, the interaction between international and domestic human rights law, and the role of a foreign lawyer - or law intern - in effecting change.  This experience was heart breaking, mind bending and definitely life changing."

Read all the 2004 featured reports >>

Stephanie Pearce at HURINET, Uganda
IHRP Intern Stephanie Pearce at HURINET, Uganda

2003: Featured Reports

Max Morgan
International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO), Toronto, and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Geneva, Switzerland

"My experiences were both enriching and rewarding. I felt that I was able to significantly contribute to the work of both organizations while also learning a great deal about international human rights work and advocacy, especially with respect to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Splitting the summer between these two organizations had the added benefit of exposing me to both the civil society as well as the international organizational responses to international human rights concerns."

Read all of the 2003 featured reports >>

International Human Rights Intern Max Morgan at the International Council of Aids Service Organizations,Geneva, Switzerland