This summer, the U of T Faculty of Law's International Human Rights Program (IHRP) sent 20 Faculty-funded IHRP interns to human rights organizations in 15 countries around the world. In addition, seven students are participating in firm-funded human rights internships where they divide their summer between work at leading law firms and human rights organizations. Below, fifteen students write to us with their exceptional experiences working with international and non-governmental organizations on a range of pressing human rights issues.

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."


Laura Hage with Casa Alianza Legal Programme colleague Manases
IHRP intern Laura Hage with a colleague at the Casa Alianza Legal Program
IHRP Intern Jared Kelly interviews child worker in Sucre, Bolivia
IHRP Intern Jared Kelly interviews child worker in Sucre, Bolivia

Jared Kelly

Nor Sud and Niños, Niñas, Adolescentes, y Jóvenes Trabajadores (NAYJT) (Sucre, Bolivia)

"Unique to my experience is the opportunity to work with NAYJT, an association exclusively run by child workers. Their mission is to improve the working and living conditions of child workers, as well as to give a more powerful voice to children through the mobilization of their members."


Sarah McEachern

Casa del Niño (CANI) (Antigua, Guatemala)

"I have been planning and coordinating a Conference on the Rights of Children and Youth ... my English students have written two plays about human rights abuses in Guatemala to be performed at the Conference."


IHRP intern Sarah McEachern with some of her English students, outside the Casa del Niño office
IHRP intern Sarah McEachern with two of her students, outside the Casa del Niño office
IHRP Intern Benjamin Perrin at the ICTY during a war crimes trial in The Hague
IHRP Intern Benjamin Perrin at the ICTY during a war crimes trial in The Hague

Benjamin Perrin

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) (The Hague, Netherlands)

"The pre-trial cases involve a great deal of responsibility and for that reason are very exciting to work on. I have been able to write draft decisions on issues such as provisional release, and protective measures for victims and witnesses. Often the judges will agree with the initial draft, sign the decision and then it is made."


T.J. Riddell

War Child Canada (WCC) (Gulu, Uganda)

"In assessing the laws, practice and the most prevalent legal issues facing children and youth, I have conducted research, visited IDP camps, courts, prisons, committees, and talked with legal aid lawyers and professionals working in NGOs and CBOs involved in juvenile justice."


T.J. Riddell with staff member from the Legal Aid Project of Uganda
T.J. Riddell with staff member from the Legal Aid Project of Uganda

Iman Abokor

Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and Legal Profession (ACIJLP ) (Cairo, Egypt)

"My colleagues and I have been working on a proposal for funding to enable the ACIJLP to host a conference in Darfur educating government officials, members of the legal profession, NGOs and the general public about the International Criminal Court and its recently launched investigation into crimes against humanity in Darfur."


Ian Andres

Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) (Kampala, Uganda)

"Not only is my work on the constitutional petition against the death penalty extremely eye-opening and poignant, but the potential of this case to set a landmark human rights precedent has already instilled a tremendous amount of pride in me."


Ioana Bala

Redress (London, England)

"Redress' supportive interaction with their clients, their ongoing lobbying efforts and their close interaction with other human rights defenders worldwide have all been very impressive."


Kathryn Bird

Women's Centre for Change (WCC) (Penang, Malaysia)

"I have spent the majority of my time with WCC undertaking research for a European Union funded research project on judicial bias and sexual crimes ..."


Karen Choi

Documentation Center Cambodia (DC-CAM) (Cambodia)

"Through my interactions with staff members, legal training participants and ordinary Cambodians, I understood the pressing need and people's aspiration for rule of law in Cambodia, and the significant role of the international legal community in achieving this goal."


Mireille Khoraych

Africa and Middle East Refugee Assistance (AMERA) (Cairo, Egypt)

"I am distinctly aware of how much, yet how little, I have learned. The experience so far has been educational and enlightening, yet at the same time, I know that it was but a mere glimpse into the field of refugee law."


Sharmi Mahajan

Public Interest Legal Support and Research Centre (New Delhi)

"The research opportunity has proved to be immensely gratifying and I feel very lucky to have met many knowledgeable persons and learned much through this experience."


Mueed Peerbhoy

Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (Karachi, Pakistan)

"One of the most eye-opening experiences I have had is working on a case study that involves a rape victim who was allegedly to be trafficked to the United Arab Emirates, to be forced into the sex trade."


Melanie Tharamangalam

Sakhi (Kerala, India)

"In my first two weeks in India I traveled to various panchayats in Kerala along with my project supervisor to talk with local officials and observe the gender planning and development initiatives happening on the ground."


See the Past Interns page for the full intern reports from 2005.