Currently, the CHRLP has internship agreements with the following organisations. The list is subject to change. The internship blog started in 2010, which is why bios and blog entries don't go further back.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, please note that some of our summer 2020 interns worked remotely, some did their internship with a local NGO instead, and others deferred until summer 2021.
- Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network - Toronto, Ontario
- Avocats sans frontières Canada (ASFC) - Ville de Québec, Québec
- Maliganik Tukisiniarvik Legal Services - Iqaluit, Nunavut
- Human Rights Watch (HRW) - New York City, USA
- Justice Department at the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne - Ontario/Quebec/NY border
- Association canadienne des libertés civiles - Toronto, Ontario
- Yukon Human Rights Commission - Whitehorse, Yukon
- Centre for Law and Democracy - Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp Native Law Centre of Canada - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- Justice and Correctional Services of the Cree Nation Government - Waswanipi, Québec
- Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse - Montréal, Québec (new for 2020)
- Citizen Lab - Toronto, Ontario (new for 2022)
- Canadian Human Rights Commission - Canada (new for 2022)
- Council of Canadians with Disabilities - Winnipeg, Canada
- Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S)
- The Inter-American Court of Human Rights – San José, Costa Rica
- Instituto de Democracia y Derechos Humanos (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú) – Lima, Peru
- Legal Clinic on Human Rights and Disability - Lima, Peru (new for 2020)
- Avocats Sans Frontières – Colombia (new for 2022)
- Conseil national des droits de l'Homme - Rabat, Maroc
- Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) – Banjul, The Gambia
- UNHCR - Tunis, Tunisie
- Refugee Law Project – Kampala, Uganda
- Elimu Impact Evaluation Centre - Kianyaga, Kenya (new for 2022)
- Ministry of Justice - Windhoek, Namibia (new for 2022)
- Centre for Health, Human Rights, and Development – Uganda (new for 2022)
- Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) - South Africa (new for 2023)
- Ateneo Human Rights Centre (ACHR) – Manila, the Philippines
- International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) – Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Bulgarian Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (BCNL) – Bulgaria (new for 2019)
"The IHRTP is a three-week intensive program which is open to human rights educators from civil society organizations, regional and national institutions, and government agencies across the globe. During the program, participants mainly work in small, diverse groups, and work to transform their working methods and develop tools to increase the impact of their work. The program uses a participatory approach, allowing human rights educators to build capacities and skills by learning from one another— participants are both the teachers and the students of the IHRTP.”
- Nathalie Laflamme (read the full blog entry).
The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network is engaged in education, legal and ethical analysis, and policy development. The Legal Network promote responses to HIV/AIDS that: implement the International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights; respect the rights of people with HIV/AIDS and of those affected by the disease; facilitate HIV prevention efforts; facilitate care, treatment, and support of people with HIV/AIDS; minimize the adverse impact of HIV/AIDS on individuals and communities; and, address the social and economic factors that increase vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and to human rights abuses.
Types of work done by past interns
- Extensive project-based legal research
- Drafting and editing
- Several administrative tasks
- Project-based legal research
- Work on advocacy and awareness media
- Catherine Dunne (2022) (bio | posts) Internships offered with the generous support of the Frank & Jocelyn Toope Award
- Mehri Ghazanjani (2021) (bio | posts)
- Nicholas Pineau (2021) (bio | posts)
- Shadaye Cousins (2020) (bio | posts)
- Reeve Kako (2019) (bio | posts)
- Heather Whiteside (2018) (bio | posts)
- Sarah-Grace Ross (2017) (bio | posts)
- Rachel Kohut (2016) (bio | posts)
- Jeansil Bruyère (2015) (bio | posts)
- Isabelle Rémillard (2014) (bio | posts)
- Alyssa C. Clutterbuck (2013) (bio | posts)
- Jihyun Rosel Kim (2012) (bio | posts)
- Rémi Weiss (2011) (bio)
- Leila Beheshti (2010) (bio)
- Katrina Peddle (2009)
- Eric Boschetti (2008)
- Anne Merminod (2007)
- Sarah Kushner (2006)
- Katie Gibson (2005)
- Debbie Mankovitz (2004)
- Eva Gazurek (2003)
"My first realization during the internship was that while I know Toronto, I only know my Toronto, which is one version among millions. My internship was situated in a very different Toronto, one nested in the intersection of health and law, where I would be conducting legal research and policy advocacy for a segment of the population that, I came to realize, I didn’t know at all."– Sarah Grace Ross (read the full blog entry)
ASFC est une ONG dont la mission est de soutenir la défense des droits des personnes les plus vulnérables par le renforcement de l’accès à la justice et à la représentation légale.
Fondé au Canada en octobre 2002, ASFC compte sur plus de 25 employés à temps complet à son siège de Québec et sur le terrain, de même que sur environ 200 bénévoles. ASFC met actuellement en œuvre des programmes de coopération en Haïti, en Colombie et au Guatemala. Ce stage se déroule entièrement en français.
Types de travail effectué par les stagiaires
- Production du contenu juridique des programmes et des activités internationales d’ASFC
- Seconder la rédaction de documents juridiques d’ordre général (politiques, principes, manuels)
- Vérification du cadre légal et règlementaire applicable aux projets
- Recherches juridiques sur les thèmes requis ou utiles aux projets et aux activités
- Préparation d’interventions ponctuelles et au suivi de thèmes juridiques d’intérêt général ou transversaux
- Renée Lehman (2022) (bio | posts)
- Johanna Cline (2021) (bio | posts)
- Amanda Bowie-Edwards (2020) (bio | posts)
- Jennifer Lachance (2019) (bio | posts)
- Camille Lustière (2018) (bio | posts)
- Sarah Cha (2017) (bio | posts)
- Fiona Cooke (2016) (bio | posts)
- Vallery Bayly (2015) (bio | posts)
- Nicolas Aubin (2014) (bio)
- Diya Bouchedid (2013) (bio | posts)
"Ultimately, this internship served to highlight for me the many creative ways the law can be used to successfully defend the human rights of individuals all around the world. And, equally importantly, it reminded me of the important role that Canadian law students and lawyers, alongside project managers, accountants, counsellors, professors, and more, can play in international human rights – sometimes even without ever having to leave the country."
- Sarah Cha (read the full blog entry)
Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik Legal Services is the legal aid office that serves the Baffin region of Nunavut. The lawyers work in criminal, family, poverty and civil law. The largest section is the criminal law section. The court workers working in Iqaluit and in communities throughout the territory do substantive legal work by representing clients in Justice of the Peace Court.
For 40 years, Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik, through its legal aid clinic in Iqaluit, has focused on public legal education, law reform and client representation. Today, 8 criminal law lawyers, 3 family law lawyers, 1 poverty law lawyer, 2 full time Iqaluit Inuit court workers and Inuit Court Workers in 12 Baffin Communities continue the work of the last 40 years ensuring that access to justice remains at the forefront in Nunavut.
Types of work done by past interns
- Conducting bail hearings at the Justice of the Peace Court
- Meeting with clients and representing them in the Justice of the Peace Court
- Leading research projects for lawyers in the office
- Work on judicial review
- Work on interim releases, bail hearings and criminal files
- Leading research projects for lawyers in the office
- Work on family law cases
- Nicolas Kamran (2022) (bio | posts)
- Sarah Nixon (2021) (bio | posts)
- Marie-Denise Vane (2020) (bio | posts)
- Curtis Mesher (2019) (bio | posts)
- Cassandra Richards (2018) (bio | posts)
- David Matyas (2017) (bio | posts)
- Étienne F. Lacombe (2016) (bio | posts)
- Dominic Bell (2015) (bio | posts)
- Martha Chertkow (2014) (bio) | posts)
- David Nugent (2013) (bio | posts)
- Chris Durrant (2012) (bio | posts)
- Joannie Jacob (2011) (bio)
- Chiara Fish (2010) (bio | posts)
"I think about the qamutiks represented in the courthouse, wondering how they are meant to relate to justice in the North. Are they meant to reflect the system as it is? Or, are they presented as aspiration, an allegory of what the system might become? [...] I reflect on judicial processes adapted for the context, from decentralization efforts to official Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun language requirements, wondering if they will endure. I think about certain imported features of southern justice and if they are as doomed to fail in this context, like European explorers’ sleds dashed upon the ice."
- David Matyas (read the full blog entry).
Human Rights Watch is the largest human rights organization based in the US, employing lawyers, journalists, and academics in seven internationally-located offices. HRW researchers conduct fact-finding investigations into human rights abuses in all regions of the world. The intern is placed in International Justice Program, and works on advocacy related to the international criminal tribunals. The McGill partnership with Human Rights Watch started in 2002.
Types of work done by past interns
- Human rights advocacy and lobbying
- Legal research and memo drafting on various fields of international law
- Media monitoring
- Poonam Sandhu (2022) (bio | posts)
- Emma Sitland (2021) (//blogs.mcgill.ca/humanrightsinterns/author/emma.sitland [at] mail.mcgill.ca">bio | posts)
- Jessica Michelin (2019) (bio | posts)
- Tiran Rahimian Bajgiran (2018) (bio | posts)
- Emily Painter (2017) (bio | posts)
- Nour Saadi (2016) (bio | posts)
- Humera Jabir (2015) (bio | posts)
- Amanda Ghahremani (2014) (bio)
- Marika Tremblay (2013) (bio)
- Will Colish (2012) (bio | posts)
- Emilie Conway (2011) (bio)
- Naomi Greckol-Herlich (2010) (bio)
- Stavroula Papadopoulos (2009)
- Jake Hirsch-Allen (2008)
- Balkees Jarrah (2007)
- Hugh Sandler (2006)
- Geneviève Painter (2005)
- Collin Smith (2004)
- Janina Fogels (2003)
"Ici on m’expose à une multitude de violations de droit de l’homme qui se propagent aux quatre coins du monde, à la réponse d’une ONG tel que la Human Rights Watch, et aussi à la place de cette dernière dans une ville qui grouille d’acteurs internationaux importants, tel que les Nations unies. Cette convergence de points d’exposé ne mène guère à une vision simple qui les unit; elle invite plutôt des réflexions continues."
- Will Colish (read the full blog entry)
The Akwesasne Justice Department strives to provide a comprehensive Justice System for the people of Akwesasne which is equitable, fair and respectful of individual rights and is also respectful of our Culture and Heritage as Mohawks.
The department’s goals are as follows:
- To develop and administer a community based justice system based on traditional principles.
- To provide community members with the institutions to resolve internal conflicts and disputes, and a forum for the adjudication of community law.
- To manage and expand the application restorative justice programs and native court worker program.
- To provide community members with a local supervision program for adult, youth offenders and federal parolees from the courts and correctional centers in Ontario, Quebec and New York State.
Types of work done by past interns
- Interact with lawyers and court administrators
- Legal research and drafting
- Attend court sessions
- Brandon Bonspiel (2022) (bio | posts)
- Gabriela de Medeiros (2021) (bio | posts)
- Maya Gunnarsson (2020) (bio | posts)
- Larissa Parker (2019) (bio | posts)
- A. Brett Campeau (2018) (bio | posts)
- Madeleine Macdonald (2017) (bio | posts)
- Amanda Philpott (2016) (bio | posts)
- Anna Gilmer (2015) (bio | posts)
- Cécile Capela (2014) (bio | posts)
"That day, aboriginal inmates who had shown good behaviour were invited out into the yard for a surprise. Native Inmate Liaison Officer Brian David greeted them with smudging before welcoming them into the yard, which held a mid-construction sweat lodge and a circle of chairs. Our guests were treated to a feast of homemade fry bread, corn soup, and fresh strawberries. Wearing his formal Gustowah (feathered headress), Satekaronhioton Fox of Native North American Travelling College told creation stories. Joyce King, Department Director, spoke of culture and restorative principles, emphasizing the importance of knowing one’s identity. In Haudenosaunee culture, to be prepared to for death, each one must know five things: their name, clan, language, song, and their medicine. Then, we danced."
– Madeleine Macdonald (read the full blog entry)
CCLA fights for the civil liberties, human rights, and democratic freedoms of all people across Canada. Founded in 1964, we are an independent, national, nongovernmental organization, working in the courts, before legislative committees, in the classrooms, and in the streets, protecting the rights and freedoms cherished by Canadians and entrenched in our Constitution.
"Participating in CCLA outreach work meant that I saw high school students thinking through the Charter for the first time. CCLA facilitators walk these young people through collisions of, and justified limits upon, rights and freedoms: in the case of a minor refusing to submit to a life-saving blood transfusion, is a province justified in forcing the procedure upon them? In the case of a boy bringing a ceremonial knife to school, does the right to security of the person of the other children overpower his freedom of to manifest religious conviction?”
- Mark Dance (read the full blog entry)
The Yukon Human Rights Commission promotes equality and diversity through research, education and enforcement of the Yukon Human Rights Act. The YHRC is an impartial and independent organization. Its vision can be summarized as follows: 1) to provide accessible public information and education about human rights throughout the Yukon 2) to partner proactively with individuals and institutions to improve understanding of and respect for human rights in the Yukon 3) to model best practices as an employer and organization and 4) to provide a fair and effective process for dealing with human rights complaint. The Yukon Human Rights Commission makes every effort to help settle complaints by assisting both the individual or group making the complaint and the individual or group to whom the complaint has been made against.
Types of work done by past interns
- Conduct intakes with complainants and assist with the drafting of complaints
- Attend pre-hearing conferences and sentencing trials
- Draft legal memos; legal research
- Contribute to the Commission’s legal education projects
- Jack Ball (2022) (bio | posts)
- Garima Karia (2021) (bio | posts)
- Mathew Yaworski (2021) (bio | posts)
- Nilani Ananthamoorthy (2020) (bio | posts)
- Sara Wright (2020) (bio | posts)
- Brittni Tee (2019) (bio | posts)
- Pouya Dabiran-Zohoory (2018) (bio | posts)
- Rachelle Rose (2018) (bio | posts)
- Rebecca Jones (2017) (bio | posts)
- Theo Lyons (2016) (bio | posts)
- Keiisha-Anne Pillai (2015 – independent intern)
"Just as I begin to feel accustomed to the 24 hours of daylight that northerners enjoy every summer, the night skies have finally begun to get a little darker. Last weekend, while camping in Atlin, in northern BC, I saw a couple of stars for the first time since I left Montreal. I will take this reminder of the passing time as encouragement to redouble my efforts to contribute and learn as much as I can while at the Human Rights Commission, and to explore and experience everything I can while visiting this beautiful part of the world."
– Theo Lyons (read the full blog entry)
The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) works to promote, protect and develop those human rights which serve as the foundation for or underpin democracy, including the rights to freedom of expression, to vote and participate in governance, to access information and to freedom of assembly and association.
CLD offers students and interns a very rich and varied experience, and the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects. At CLD, the vast majority of the work done by students and interns is substantive in nature, focusing on research and analysis of legislation, and sometimes also legislative drafting, litigation and advocacy.
Types of work done by past interns
- Background research, legal analyses of legislation, preparation of initial drafts, comparative legal surveys
- Legislative drafting: CLD is regularly asked by partners in the global south to assist them in preparing legislation or background documents for legislation. Interns may be asked to support this process in different ways
- Other forms of drafting: such as assisting in drafting documents for ongoing litigation, letters and press releases to comment on global developments, internal policy papers, etc.
"My experience at CLD has reaffirmed for me that there are a number of ways to contribute to our world. You don’t have to be a powerful person or big organisation to have a significant impact. What CLD lacks in size, they make up for in spirit and being smart about how and where they employ their resources. They are results oriented. They chose projects based on where they can have the greatest impact. They do a lot of work in the background. And I think there is a lot that is honourable in that.”
- Ailsa Miller (read the full blog entry)
The Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp Native Law Centre at the University of Saskatchewan was founded in 1975 to facilitate access to legal education for Aboriginal peoples, to promote the development of the law and the legal system in Canada in ways which better accommodate the advancement of Aboriginal peoples and communities, and to disseminate information concerning Aboriginal peoples and the law. The Centre became a department of the College of Law in 1984.
In 2018, the Centre was renamed the Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp Native Law Centre, as a means to Indigenize the Centre. Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp is Cree for law lodge/tipi. This change was instituted in a broader process of re-visioning the Centre. This process will involve a series of other initiatives, in a spirit of Indigenizing the Centre and implementing the various Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission relevant to legal education.
The objectives of the Centre are:
- Provide and promote access to high quality legal education for Aboriginal people throughout Canada, and to provide a positive example of Aboriginal legal education internationally;
- Undertake and promote legal research and interdisciplinary legal research of Aboriginal or Indigenous matters, nationally and internationally;
- Publish legal reference and scholarly materials that reflect a wide range of Aboriginal legal and interdisciplinary legal subjects;
- Serve as a specialist resource on Aboriginal legal issues; and
- Foster national and international relationships and collaboration for mutual enrichment and for joint work on Indigenous issues.
Waswanipi is a Cree community in the Eeyou Istchee territory of central Quebec, Canada, located along Route 113 and near the confluence of the Chibougamau and Waswanipi Rivers. The Waswanipi Justice Committee is there to help, support, assist and provide guidance to the members of Waswanipi, when there is conflict in the family, and/or with the law.
What is the purpose of the committee?
- Promote and maintain social peace and harmony in our community of Waswanipi.
- Help administer justice using culturally adapted approaches, which put emphasis on healing individuals, families and the community, and that deal with the underlying causes of problems in the community rather than just the symptoms.
- Offer alternatives or complements to the mainstream Justice System while including the people that have been affected by
- the crime or conflict. Encourage a social reaction to crime and conflicts that favors accountability, reparation, restoring balance and the re-establishment of relations among affected individuals.
- Promote understanding and respect of laws, socially acceptable behaviours, cultural values, and traditions.
- Hannah Reardon (2022) (bio | posts)
- Tim Parr (2021) (bio | posts)
- Gemma Dingwall (2020) (bio | posts)
- Christopher Little (2019) (bio | posts)
Nouveau partenaire pour 2020.
La Commission est un organisme indépendant du gouvernement et remplit sa mission au seul bénéfice des citoyens et dans l’intérêt du public. La mission de la Commission est d’assurer la promotion et le respect des droits énoncés dans :
- la Charte des droits et libertés de la personne
- la Loi sur la protection de la jeunesse (LPJ)
- la Loi sur le système de justice pénale pour les adolescents (LSJPA)
Elle doit aussi veiller à l’application de :
Sa mission inclut les responsabilités suivantes :
- Informer le public des droits reconnus par la Charte, par la Loi sur la protection de la jeunesse (LPJ) et par la Loi sur le système de justice pénale pour les adolescents (LSJPA);
- Faire enquête sur des situations de discrimination et d’exploitation (en vertu de la Charte) et sur les atteintes aux droits des enfants et des jeunes (en vertu de la LPJ ou de la LSPJA);
- Faire des recommandations au gouvernement du Québec sur la conformité des lois à la Charte et sur toute matière relatives aux droits et libertés de la personne et à la protection de la jeunesse;
- Produire et favoriser les recherches et les publications sur les droits et libertés de la personne et sur les droits de la jeunesse;
- Offrir un service-conseil en matière d’accommodement raisonnable aux employeurs et aux décideurs;
- Veiller au respect des programmes d’accès à l’égalité;
- Coopérer avec toutes les organisations vouées à la promotion des droits et libertés de la personne, au Québec ou à l'extérieur.
Tâches proposées au stagiaire
- Assister la direction du contentieux, et les avocats, dans la représentation de la Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse et des victimes de discrimination et d'exploitation, notamment: Recherche et analyse juridique sur des points de droit dans des litiges (Tribunal des droits de la personne, Cour supérieure, Cour d'appel, Cour suprême)
- Assistance dans la préparation de procédures et des auditions (première instance et appel)
- Recherche et analyse juridique sur tout ce qui concerne les fonctions et responsabilités de la Commission (droit administratif).
- Emily Michelin (2022) (bio | posts)
- Attou Mamat (2021) (bio | posts)
- Jeremy Wiener (2021) (bio | posts)
- Jasmine Razavi (2020) (bio | posts)
The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary research and development organization based at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. Its mission is to conduct research, develop products, and engage in high-level strategic policy and legal engagement at the intersection of information and communication technologies, human rights, and global security.
They conduct research through a "mixed methods" approach that incorporates elements of political science, law, computer science, and area studies. Their research focuses on the mechanisms of transparency and accountability that exist between corporations and government agencies in the context of personal data collection and other surveillance activities.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission is in charge of representing the public interest and holding the Government of Canada accountable on human rights issues.
The Commission is authorized to work with federally regulated employers to ensure that they are preventing discrimination and promoting inclusion through proactive compliance with these laws. Within the Commission, the Federal Housing Advocate is an independent, self-contained unit empowered to drive meaningful action to address housing need and homelessness in Canada. The Office of the Federal Housing Advocate, housed at the Canadian Human Rights Commission, works to promote and protect the right to housing in Canada, including the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing. The Advocate's work aims to effect change on key systemic housing issues and advance the right to housing for all Canadians.
The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) is a social justice organisation comprised of individuals with all types of disabilities that advocates for an inclusive and accessible Canada in which people with disabilities can fully exercise their human rights as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Council brings together disability advocacy organisations to defend and advance people with disabilities' human rights through public education, advocacy, litigation intervention, research, consultation, and partnerships. CCD supplements their partners' expertise by acting as a convening body and consensus builder.
Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S) is a government in Saskatchewan that represents Métis people. MN-S is governed by the Metis Nation Legislative Assembly (MNLA), which is made up of Métis Local Presidents and the Provincial Métis Council. The MNLA is empowered to enact legislation, regulations, rules, and resolutions that govern Métis affairs and behaviour in Saskatchewan.
The 2019 "Métis-Ottawa Accords" are a watershed moment in Métis history, as they are the first self-government agreements reached between the Métis Nation and the federal government. These agreement represents the most significant advancement in Métis rights since the important hunting, recognition, and self-identity rights. Following the signing of the accords, future negotiations will take place to give the Métis Nation control over its own affairs in areas such as childcare, leadership selection, government operations, and citizenship. Most importantly, the accords give Métis control over the creation of future constitutions for their respective nations.
- Eric Epp (2022) (bio | posts)
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is an autonomous judicial institution. Together with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, it makes up the human rights protection system of the Organization of American States (OAS), which serves to uphold and promote basic rights and freedoms in the Americas. Its two main functions are adjudicatory and advisory. Under the former, it hears and rules on the specific cases of human rights violations referred to it. Under the latter, it issues opinions on matters of legal interpretation brought to its attention by other OAS bodies or member states (Wikipedia).
Interns work directly with the Legal Department of the Court. Successful candidates must have a very strong ability to read, write and converse in Spanish.
Types of work done by past interns
- Proof verification
- Preparing case files
- International legal research and memo drafting
- Assisting the Court's lawyers' revision of cases
- Providing logistical assistance during public hearings
- Developing legal arguments for specific cases
- Andrea Salguero (2020) (bio | posts)
- Kelly O’Connor (2019) (bio | posts)
- Sara Gold (2018) (bio | posts)
- Elias León (2017) (bio | posts)
- Brianna Gorence (2016) (bio | posts)
- Kaley Lachapelle (2015) (bio | post)
- Jacinthe Poisson (2014) (bio | posts)
- Claire Gunner (2013) (bio | posts)
- Anne-Claire Gayet (2012) (bio | posts)
- Jean-Paul Saucier Calderón (2011) (bio)
- Perri Ravon (2010) (bio | posts)
- Cedric Soule (2009)
- Hana Boye (2008)
- Stéphanie Bachand (2007)
- Scott Doucet (2006)
- Ioana Luca (2005)
- Cristina Birks (2004)
- Jonas-Sébastien Beaudry (2003)
"...moment historique : la première visite du Secrétaire Général des Nations Unies à la Cour interaméricaine le 30 juillet 2014. Alors que la plupart des stagiaires tentaient d’intercepter Ban Ki-moon pour prendre un selfie avec lui (ils ont d’ailleurs réussi, avec les Présidents du Costa Rica et de la Cour en prime), une manifestation de dizaines de personnes s’organisaient devant la Cour. Tout un contraste!"
- Jacinthe Poisson (read the full blog entry)
The Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (Instituto de Democracia y Derechos Humanos – IDEHPUCP) is an academic center attached to the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Its goal is to strengthen democracy and the respect for human rights in Peru through academic and professional training, applied research, and the promotion of public policy with the state and civil society.
Since its foundation in 2004, the IDEHPUCP has been closely working with diverse national and international organizations, regional and local governments, civil society organizations and citizens devoted to the country’s democratic culture.
"During the panel on Gender Rights, I watched the head of the Institute, Doctora Elizabeth Salmón – one of the most respected and successful people in the field of international law and human rights law in the country – defy social norms by setting up a panel on the continued struggle to find balance between the protection of women’s rights and LGBTQ rights and religion in Lima."
– Melisa Demir (read the full blog entry)
The Clinic on Human Rights and Disability is a collaborative learning space where law students can apply their knowledge and experience to strategic litigation cases. Students develop the skills essential to any successful lawyer (interviewing, designing legal strategy, writing and argumentation) by providing legal to judicial and administrative process, preparing amicus curiae brief and/or evaluating public policies. All of their work will always have a human rights approach and focus on the rights of persons with disabilities.
The Clinic’s work is focused on disability, discrimination and overcoming sociolegal barriers that hinder the rights of persons with disabilities. Our teaching team and students are expected to analyze the legitimacy of multiple social and legal norms in light of the non-discrimination mandate established in the Peruvian Constitution, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the General Law on the Person with Disabilities. Thus, the Clinic analyzes and reports on situations and cases in which the rights of persons with disabilities are often violated – access to inclusive and quality education, healthcare and adapted work opportunities. Students learn to question multiple legal institutions that were not designed with the social model of disability in mind, such as insanity defenses and substituted decision-making regimes.
The core of the Clinic’s work is providing legal aid in strategic cases where disability has restricted a person’s – or a group’s – right. After interviewing prospective clients, the students and team debate the viability of taking a case. Once a case has been taken, students (under the team’s supervision) implement the proposed strategy through the preparation of writs, communication with clients and assisting hearings. The Clinic also regularly provides legal workshops for persons with disabilities and their family members.
Proposed work for intern:
- Work on Clinic’s cases
- Research Peruvian law in different areas (usually education, labour an healthcare) to understand how a case should be solved using a human rights and disability-based analysis
- Prepare writs, memorandums, draft letters
- Meet with clients and public officials
- Interview new clients and prepare a case brief to whether the Clinic should - or should not - take the case
- As a general rule, interns should be involved in both new and old cases, in order to receive a more complete vision of the Peruvian legal system and its challenges.
Avocats Sans Frontières Canada (ASFC) is a non-governmental international cooperation organization whose mission is to support the defense of people's human rights in vulnerable situations by improving access to justice and legal representation.
ASFC is implementing this project to assist victims of the Colombian armed conflict and their legal representatives in claiming their right to truth, justice, and reparation, and thus contribute to the construction of a stable and sustainable peace. Its main mission is to strengthen the participation of vulnerable groups, particularly women and girls, in the transitional justice mechanisms provided for by the peace agreement signed and adopted by Congress. ASFC and its partners hope to contribute to the strengthening of Colombian society's confidence in these new transitional justice mechanisms by intervening in Antioquia, Cauca, Cesar, Cundinamarca, Nario, Norte de Santander, Santander, and Valle del Cauca
- Nathan Leung (2022) (bio | posts)
Le CNDH a trois missions. Sa première consiste à la protection des droits de la personne et afin de remplir ce mandat, le CNDH bénéficie des prérogatives nécessaires pour assurer le monitoring des droits de la personne au niveau national et régional, le traitement des plaintes des violations des droits de la personne, la médiation et l’intervention par anticipation, les enquêtes et investigations liées à des allégations sur la survenance de violation et le reporting au niveau national et international. La deuxième mission du CNDH est celle de la promotion des droits de la personne, mission qui est portée à bien à travers la diffusion de la culture des droits de la personne, le renforcement des capacités des acteurs institutionnels et de la société civile, l’harmonisation des textes législatifs avec les conventions internationales ratifiées et finalement, l’entretien et le développement de la coopération internationale. La dernière mission du CNDH consiste en l’enrichissement de la pensée et des débats sociétaux sur les questions des droits de la personne.
Types of work done by past interns
- Strategic planning for the international cooperation department
- International legal analysis
"One NGO I stumbled across, ‘Awid Women’s Rights’, has an online memorial that ‘honors feminists and Women Human Rights Defenders who have died and whose contributions to the advancement of human rights are very much missed.’ Needless to say, it was hard to read about people – many of whom I identified with, who are a part of my community and/or advocate on behalf of it – getting killed because of their work in human rights. It was a serious reminder that it’s thanks to the work of people like this, over generations and still happening now, that the good life I have and the opportunities available to me exist."
- Caroline Lavoie (read the full blog entry)
IHRDA’s principal focus is to ensure that the enforcement mechanisms of African human rights treaties are an effective instrument to redress human rights violations on the continent. IHRDA achieves its goals through four main programs areas: legal advocacy, litigation, capacity building, research and publication, and more broadly, cooperating with the African regional human rights system.
Since its founding, IHRDA has worked to increase the number and quality of human rights cases brought to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights [ACPHR]. It has done this primarily through litigation training as well as launching or otherwise providing support to cases before the ACHPR and other African instances.
Types of work done by past interns
- On-site fact finding
- Strategic litigation preparation
- Legal research on legislation
- Cassandra Betts (2022) (bio | posts)
- Alexandre Recher (2021) (bio | posts)
- Nicholas Pineau (2020) (bio | posts)
- Linda Muhugusa (2019) (bio | posts)
- Caroline Schurman-Grenier (2018) (bio | posts)
- Sara Pierre (2017) (bio | posts)
- Matthew Squire (2016) (bio | posts)
- Anna Wettstein (2015) (bio | posts)
- Guilhem de Roquefeuil (2014) (bio | posts)
- Jean-Marc Lacourcière (2013) (bio | posts)
"At our staff meeting, we all had the chance to say what we had been working on, whether this had to do with the organization’s website, a conference someone would be presenting at, or making sure we have clean and running water. When everyone’s voice was heard, I felt there was transparency, accountability and fellowship. The value of these things cannot be dismissed because it reinforces the underlying truth that we, those who work to uplift the dignity of human beings, are not there to ‘save’ or ‘fix’ anyone; we are there to build safer and more just communities, and to empower people. And what a better way to project that vision than by reflecting it in the way we uplift our own neighbours?"
- Sara Pierre (read the full blog entry)
"Upon further reflection, I began to understand the bigger picture of what I had learned through my internship and my role in planning and attending this conference. The people of Malawi helped me understand the importance of all the practical aspects, big and small, that go into making legal change relevant in the real world. Finding ways to engage the community in supporting and understanding any given issue is a huge component of legal change."
- Julia Bellehumeur (read the full blog entry)
“The Commission works like a legal consultancy, but because it is Namibian in its staffing and location, it provides a truly Namibian perspective on the law. This is necessary, especially in Africa, where legal recommendations that are deemed to be effective in another part of the world are often prescribed to African countries. While some of the most effective law firms in the world may be able to make recommendations to Namibia about the law should be, few of these recommendations can access how the law should be for Namibia. But by being in Namibia, staffed by Namibians, and connected to Namibia, the LRDC can consult within Namibia and recommend how the laws should be for Namibia.”
- Kevin Pinkoski (read the full blog entry)
"La Tunisie a probablement l’une des sociétés civiles les plus actives que j’ai eu l’occasion de rencontrer. Les organisations non-gouvernementales se sont mises à foisonner après la révolution et elles mettent la main à la pâte pour aider les plus démunis et pour promouvoir l’égalité. L’un des cafés de la ville est d’ailleurs surnommé le café des « NGO », illustrant que suffisamment de gens travaillent dans ce domaine pour remplir un café à semaines longues… "
- Frédérique St-Jean (read the full blog entry)
Established in 1999 and based at the School of Law of Makerere university, the Refugee Law Project's mission is to empower asylum seekers, refugees, deportees, IDPs and host communities in Uganda to enjoy their human rights and lead dignified lives.
- The Intern would be expected to participate and contribute to the ongoing work at RLP on refugee matters, including legal aid to asylum seekers and refugees in Uganda. The provision of legal aid is supported by adding a psycho-social unit which provides clients with counselling and referrals on a range of non-legal matters, including sexual and gender-based violence, access to medical care, housing and education. The provision of direct support is complemented by education and training activities. These are targeted both at duty bearers such as police, immigration officers, judges, magistrates and local government officials, and also refugees themselves.
- Over the last twelve years, the RLP’s focus has broadened. While they started by looking exclusively at the situation of refugees and asylum seekers, it has become increasingly important to also assist other forced migrants, notably internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and deportees. They also consider the question of transitional justice ast it affects forcibly displaced populations. As such, their overall focus can now be described as Justice & Forced Migration
The ELIMU Impact Evaluation Center was founded in 2006 and is a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Kianyaga, Kenya's Central Province. Their work entails evaluating the practical impact of a variety of poverty-relief initiatives, including rural electrification, microinsurance, and legal assistance. Their approach is based on the randomized experiment concept. This initiative was born out of the realization that without a proper counterfactual, it is impossible to assess the impact of development aid. Elimu solves the counterfactual problem by randomly assigning treatment to a treatment group and comparing it to a control group, similar to how a randomized drug trial does, and Elimu can determine which development projects are successful and which initiatives are the most cost effective methods of raising living standards.
- Noémie Richard (2022) (bio | posts)
Namibia's Ministry of Justice is charged with the responsibility of enforcing the law in the country. The distinct mandate is to provide legal services and access to justice, as defined by the functions.
The Ministry is responsible for legal matters not only on a national level, but also on a regional and international level. It addresses legal issues such as reciprocal legal assistance, extraditions, human rights and humanitarian law, bilateral and multilateral relations, legislation, policy, and research, legal education, and the professional discipline of legal practitioners. The Ministry is the central authority for processing extradition and mutual legal assistance requests in criminal and civil matters, as well as requests for reciprocal enforcement of foreign judgments and apostilles on public documents for use in foreign jurisdictions in accordance with the Hague Convention.
UNHCR has been active in Tunisia since 1957, when Tunisian authorities asked for its assistance to protect several thousands of Algerian refugees. UNHCR established an honorary representation in 1963, then a full representation through the signature of a Headquarters agreement in 2011 between UNHCR and the Tunisian Government. Since then, UNHCR works in close collaboration with authorities and Tunisian civil society to promote a favourable protection environment for refugees and asylum-seekers in Tunisia.
UNHCR and its partners, with the essential support of donors, ensure international protection through the registration of refugees and asylum-seekers, documentation and the Refugee Status Determination procedure. UNHCR and its partners provide emergency assistance to the most vulnerable (shelter, material assistance) and a follow-up for socio-economic inclusion of persons of concern to UNHCR.
- Laurence LeBlanc (2022) (bio | posts)
CEHURD is a non-profit indigenous research and advocacy organization dedicated to the right to health. To advance vulnerable communities' health rights through litigation, advocacy, and research. Founded in 2010, the Center for Health, Human Rights, and Development (CEHURD) has advanced social justice and health rights in health systems in Uganda, the East African Region, Pan-African, and globally.
They contribute to the deconstruction of health and human rights by utilizing the law, policy engagements, evidence-based advocacy, and community mobilization as major entry points that inform our interventions at the national level and in ten districts throughout Uganda. We have pioneering strategic litigation cases that have shaped jurisprudence and defined expanded rights for our target constituencies. While actively participating in East African, Pan-African, and international human rights mechanisms, processes, and movements.
- Rebecca Clayton (2022) (bio | posts)
"The proceedings I witness pour cold water on any law school idealism that legal argumentation will carry the day... this past week has made me reflect on how to be an effective advocate requires not just legal knowledge, but adeptness at negotiating the social and political context in which one is advocating."
- Brodie Noga (read the full blog entry)
"Pendant mon stage, j’ai touché à tout. J’ai travaillé sur divers dossiers, divers rapports, diverses situations. À aucun moment je ne me suis plaint de la monotonie de mes tâches. Au contraire, à certains moments, je ne savais plus où donner de la tête!"
- Léa Pelletier Marcotte (read the full blog entry)
AHRC was established as one of the first university-based institutions engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines. AHRC pursues its mandate of protecting and promoting human rights through increasingly varied programs and services. Among other things, it is engaged in legal assistance, research and publication, law and policy reform advocacy, training and education, institution building, curriculum development, and values formation.
In pursuing its goals, AHRC works closely with various government, the academe, NGOs, grassroots organizations, and other civil society groups. Partnerships have been established and maintained with national and international organizations whose operations and expertise are relevant to the respective sectors served by AHRC.
Types of work done by past interns
- Legal memo drafting
- Thematic research and preparation of course materials
- Revision of academic documentation
- Fatima Beydoun (2022) (bio | posts)
- Janelle Deniset (2021) (bio | posts)
- Mehlka Mustansir (2020) (bio | posts)
- Kathleen Barera (2019) (bio | posts)
- Alicia Blimkie (2018) (bio | posts)
- Katerina Lagassé (2017) (bio | posts)
- Alexander Agnello (2016) (bio | posts)
- Dan Snyder (2015) (bio | posts)
- Katie Spillane (2014) (bio | posts)
- Lia Bellefontaine (2013) (bio | posts)
- Melissa Austen (2012) (bio | posts)
- Luke Brown (2011) (bio | posts)
- Christopher Maughan (2010) (bio | posts)
- Mae Jane Nam (2009)
- Guillaume Bigaouette (2008)
- Seth Earn (2007)
"The AHRC handles an incredible diversity of human rights work, including grass roots involvement, research and education, litigation and policy and legal reform. This is but one example of the many very interesting experiences that I have been exposed to. Since the Center is made up mostly of lawyers, in the heart of the most prestigious law school in the Philippines, they are in a key position to promote human rights at the international and domestic level. However, it is always an upwards struggle."
- Lia Bellefontaine (read the full blog entry)
Contact person: Dr. Mario Gomez, Executive Director
Proposed work for the Intern. The Intern would be expected to participate and contribute to the ongoing work at ICES on post-war recovery and reconciliation; inter-religious conflict and coexistence; transitional justice; women’s economic empowerment; the use of art to foster reconciliation and healing; human rights, gender and social inclusion, including ongoing work on precarious work, ex-combatants, caste and disability.
The ICES is in the process of developing an online museum of memory and coexistence, and the Intern may contribute to this depending on his or her interest. The Intern would be expected to develop a short ‘think-piece’ of publishable quality on one of these issues, or a topic of particular interest to the Fellow. The Intern may also devote part of his or her time to pursue an area of research outside any of the above if it falls within the overall mandate of the organization.
Skills: Good proficiency in English; good analytical and writing skills; a curious and probing mind; and a capacity to work with a diverse team.
Since 2012, BCNL has collaborated with other organisations to develop the Next Step Program in order to introduce a new formula for legal capacity. The aim of the program is to explore and draw conclusions about the conditions necessary to achieve and guarantee personal exercise of human rights for people with intellectual disability (ID) and mental health problems (MHP) in five spheres that are fundamental for achieving equality and full inclusion in social life: the decision where and with whom to live, the right to work, decide about property and finance management, creating personal relationships, selection and use of health care.
The program included people who were excluded from the community as a result of ID and/or MHP - people who were considered unable to make decisions, to work, etc. their entire life or at certain times of it. The implemented measures for supported decision making (SDM) have been developed as a system of interventions directed towards the person. Their aim is to support people who, led by their will and preferences, wish make decisions important for themselves.
- Aliya Behar (2022) (bio | posts)
- Kendra Landry (2021) (//blogs.mcgill.ca/humanrightsinterns/author/nevada.mceniry-hatajlo [at] mail.mcgill.ca">bio | posts)
- Nevada McEniry-Hatajlo (2020) (bio | posts)
- Samantha Backman (2019) (bio | posts)
Lawyers for Human Rights is a pioneering non-profit and non-governmental human rights organization, founded in the 1970s by activist lawyers committed to justice and human rights advocacy. LHR's foundational ethos centers on the protection and promotion of human rights across six distinct legal sectors: refugee and migration rights, land rights, housing and property rights, penal reform, environmental rights, and gender equality, in addition to its efforts in strategic litigation.
LHR’s multifaceted approach integrates strategic litigation, robust advocacy, legislative reforms, education on human rights, and community mobilization to ensure holistic enforcement of social justice and human rights in the region. Prioritizing strategic litigation from tribunals to the constitutional court, LHR has been instrumental in establishing landmark precedents that have shaped the human rights landscape in South Africa. With its rich legacy, LHR is revered as a beacon of relentless dedication to elevating human rights standards in South Africa, making it one of the region's most impactful legal institutions.
Shona Moreau (2023