Human Rights Internship Program

From the Andes to Uganda, University of Chicago Human Rights interns combat police abuse, research drone attacks, organize with workers for fair conditions, help trafficking victims find new livelihoods, and report on election irregularities. Our interns are all over the world and very close to home...putting theory into practice and creating human rights in action!

The Human Rights Internship Program offers a select group of Chicago students the opportunity to learn the skills and understand the inherent difficulties in putting human rights into practice. Since its establishment in 1998, the Internship Program has helped place more than 350 students with non-governmental organizations, governmental agencies, and international bodies around the world. The Internship Program is unique in its flexibility, awarding $5,000 grants to afford all interns the freedom to explore their interests, whether thematic or regional in focus.

For more information:

Washington, DC, USA

Elizabeth Behrens

Elizabeth Behrens

Elizabeth is spending her summer with Teaching For Change in Washington, D.C. She will be working on various projects that attempt to incorporate human rights and social justice into teaching curricula. Her task will include researching and designing curricula, as well as directly working with educators and parents in the D.C. area.

Victoria, BC, Canada

Sean Burr

Sean's internship will focus on the universal human right to adequate housing with Our Place Society in Victoria, BC, Canada. As a result of its temperate climate, Victoria has one of the largest homeless populations in Canada. Our Place Society responds to this need with temporary housing, mental health services, and employment supports. Our Place does outreach and advocacy to raise local awareness of homelessness and inequality. Sean will conduct a comprehensive survey with the local homeless population to develop recommendations to improve Our Place Society's responsiveness to their needs and broader justice issues.

Washington, DC, USA

Alex Ducett

Alex is at the US Campaign for Burma in Washington DC, a small organization which coordinates with a network of grassroots activists in Burma and around the world to advocate for political reform in Burma and to bring attention to the systematic human rights abuses happening in the country. Alex will be assisting with all aspects of the organization’s campaigns this summer, a critical time for the growth of democracy in Burma.

Chicago, IL, USA

Nory Kaplan Kelly

Nory Kaplan Kelly

Nory is working at the People's Law Office, which for over 40 years has been the leading private law firm in Chicago working against police misconduct and for civil and human rights. He will assist attorneys with their case intake work and write new website content. Most importantly, he will also be reading the office's prisoner correspondence and looking for coded language of abuse or human rights violations. Nory is also working on the PLO's project investigating the Criminalization of LGBT People.

Philadelphia, PA, USA

Kaitlin Leskovac

Kaitlin Leskovac

Kaitlin is an intern at the Women's Law Project (WLP) in Philadelphia, PA. The mission of the Women's Law Project (WLP) is to create a more just and equitable society by advancing the rights and status of all women through high-impact litigation, advocacy and education. As an intern, Kaitlin works with the Executive Director on the strategic communications team to develop social media, aimed at the Millenial Generation, with a focus on women's legal, health and social status. She is also involved with the development of an online "Women and the Law" class, also geared toward Millenials. Finally, she will also serve as a counselor for WLP's call-in line which provides legal information and referrals on issues including reproductive rights, domestic/sexual violence, child custody, etc.

Chicago, IL, USA

Carolyn Morales

Carolyn Morales

ARISE Chicago builds partnerships between faith communities and workers to fight workplace injustice through education, organizing and advocating for public policy changes. Carolyn will provide research and organizing support for Arise Chicago's workplace justice campaigns, public policy work, and coalition work. She assists the Worker Center Director in the implementation of the new Chicago anti-wage theft ordinance, while supporting its use in other cities. She also works with staff organizers to recruit and train new members and in l support of workplace justice campaigns.

Washington, DC, USA

Tala Radejko

Tala Radejko

Tala works in the Arms Department of the Human Rights Watch office in DC. She is doing research and advocacy on issues related to fully autonomous weapons and the increasing use of drones in warfare with particular attention to the use of such weapons in the Middle East.

Chicago, IL, USA

Angelica Velazquillo

Angelica Velazquillo

Angelica is an intern with the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants and the Sisters of Mercy in Illinois. She serves as an advocate for undocumented immigrants who are facing deportations. On a weekly basis Angelica will attend immigration court and visit the Broadview, Illinois "Processing" Center to monitor conditions for detained immigrants and their families. She will also work with the Post Detention Accompanied program.

Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico

Gabrielle Newell

Gabrielle Newell

Gabrielle works with Fundacion En Via an organization that combines tourism and micro-finance to fight poverty in Oaxaca, Mexico. The organization provides interest-free micro-loans to help women in Oaxaca start or expand their small businesses in order to facilitate social change and authentic cultural experiences for visitor. She will be leading tours, developing stronger connections between borrowers, the organization, donors, and tourists, and assisting the organization in developing new programs.

Mexico, D.F., Mexico

Nick Zebrowski

Nick Zebrowski

Nick Zebrowski is in Mexico City working at FUNDAR, an organization that monitors public policy and institutions through applied research, critical reflection, and linkage with civil, social and governmental actors. He will be working on a project evaluating the new national gendarmerie initiative in Mexico.

Trinidad and Tobago

Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander

Liz works with the Caribbean Umbrella Body for Restorative Behaviour (CURB). CURB is the first and only Caribbean network of non-profit associations working to assist and support criminal offenders, ex-offenders, crime survivors, and their respective families. CURB organizes the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) across the Caribbean to promote and implement models of restorative justice. Liz will build partnerships with non-profits in Trinidad and Tobago and help develop new initiatives for CURB's target populations.

Cartagena, Columbia

Leora Hudak

Leora Hudak

Leora is in Cartagena, Colombia with El Observatorio Para El Desplazamiento Forzado, an organization affiliated with the University of Cartagena, dedicated to studying Colombia's armed conflict, displacement, and human rights. She will be working on a research project studying displaced communities in the Caribbean region of Colombia, with attention to reconciliation and the construction of peace.

San Salvador, El Salvador

Brenna Mackin

Brenna Mackin

Brenna's placement is at Centro Bartolome de Las Casas in San Salvador, El Salavador. She will be working on various projects with their masculinities program. This is a pro-feminist program that works with men to recreate more equal and inclusive relationships between men and women.

Europe

No interns this year

Kampala, Uganda

Nur Kara

Nur Kara

Nur's work with the Girl Child Network (GCN) in Kampala, Uganda, is to provide counseling support to women and girls affected by trafficking and forced labor. Additionally, she will be assisting GCN with developing and teaching a legal workshop. Understanding Uganda's legal framework—via cultural and state courts—will enable girls and women to better address certain issues they face on the ground in their home country.

Accra, Ghana

Mahlet Yared

Mahlet Yared

Mahlet will be working with Women in Progress, affectionately known as Global Mamas, in greater Accra, Ghana. Women in Progress is an organization that teaches business skills to women entrepreneurs, helping them to open their own fair trade textile businesses. Mahlet will be conducting Marketing/Public Relations seminars, as well as making follow-up visits to startup businesses that were opened by women who previously received Women in Progress training.

Russia

No interns this year

New Delhi, India

Alexa Greenwald

Alexa Greenwald

This summer Lexi will work for ASER Centre in New Delhi, India. She will be assisting with the Inside Primary Schools: A Study of Teaching and Learning in Rural India project, which examines the relationship between school organization and teaching practices and student outcomes across various rural regions.

Rakkar, Himachal Pradesh, India

Heather Lyon

Heather Lyon

Heather will be an intern at Jagori Grameen in rural Rakkar, Himachal Pradesh, in Northern India. With its roots in the feminist movement, Jagori seeks to empower women, fight discrimination, and organize around issues of environmental justice. Heather will be working with local youth collectives and contributing to several broader projects at the organization.

Imphal, Manipur, India

Alexa Tarter

Alexa Tarter

Alexa works with the Manipur International Center in Imphal, Manipur (Northeast India). She will document human rights violations occurring as a result of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act of 1958, as well as facilitating human rights educational workshops for children experiencing violence and oppression.

Gurgaon, India

Shirley Yan

Shirley Yan

Shirley is an intern at Futures Group in Gurgaon, India, working on the Health Policy Project, a USAID funded project. She will help build better policy infrastructure for reproductive health and family planning. This will include establishing partnerships with other government and non-government organizations, analyzing best practices, and organizing advocacy events to promote reproductive health rights.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

David Kaner

David Kaner

David's internship is at The Cambodia Daily, an English-language newspaper in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. An independent non-profit, the paper is dedicated to the development of a free press in Cambodia and provides its readers information about the numerous challenges Cambodia faces, including corruption, environmental destruction and human rights.

Rural Northeast Thailand

Anna Knapke

Anna Knapke

Anne is with the Thai Restoration Community Development Foundation in rural Northeast Thailand where she supports the organization's mission of "breaking the cycle" of migration to urban centers to work in the high-risk sex industry. Her organization establishes community-based efforts to restore and transform families, education systems, and the economies of local communities. Anne will expand resources for the organization through partnerships, conduct social research that will inform economic development programs, and carry out a photo-journalism project.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chelsea Laun

Chelsea Laun

Chelsea works in Chiang Mai, Thailand with Urban Light—a grassroots organization which is dedicated to "making noise regarding boys" who are victims of trafficking and exploitation. The Urban Light Youth Center empowers boys who work in the red light district by providing education, health services, and housing and emergency care.

Seoul, South Korea

Joan Park

Joan Park

Joan is at the Ban-suk School and Compassion International. As a teacher and mentor at Ban-suk School, she helps North Korean refugees adapt culturally and academically to South Korean society. At Compassion, Joan works with the new North Korean aid branch and is researching international development aid projects to adapt them to the culture and needs of North Korea. The combination of work at these two organizations gives her a holistic picture of the lives of North Korean refugees, to better understand the human rights aspects of education, societal position, and cultural difference.

Beijing and Sichuan, China

Tiffany Wong

Tiffany Wong

Tiffany is an intern with the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, working with a micro-finance project that focuses on community and economic development. The project works on protecting, maintaining, and improving the rights of women and children after natural disasters (such as the earthquake in Sichuan), including education, basic health amenities and psychological health. The project invests in NGOs that focus on long-term development goals, assisting them in working with the government entities while maintaining a focus on the protection of human rights.

Australia

No interns this year