The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) is seeking 1-2 legal interns (for a minimum of 10 hours per week) to work on advocacy to secure a just UN response to the cholera epidemic in Haiti. At the end of 2016, after years of litigation and advocacy by IJDH and its Haiti-based sister organization, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), the UN issued an unprecedented public apology for the organization’s role in causing the worst cholera epidemic in the world in Haiti, and announced the launch of a new $400 million plan to improve cholera elimination efforts and provide material assistance to victims.
IJDH is seeking legal interns to contribute to our ongoing cholera accountability work to ensure that the UN plan is fully funded and implemented in a manner that responds to the organization’s legal obligations and the victims’ human rights. The Fall Legal Internship is an opportunity for highly motivated law students to participate in developing high-level, cutting-edge advocacy strategies within the UN system and among member states, and to contribute to the design and implementation of a prospective reparations process. Legal Interns will work closely with attorneys based in New York or Boston in a high-paced and exciting environment, on a case that is attracting global attention and breaking new ground on international organization accountability.
Interns may also be invited to contribute to IJDH’s other programmatic work on an as needed basis, which includes legal efforts towards improved accountability for sexual violence cases in Haiti and advocacy to protect the right to public expression and the work of human rights defenders in Haiti.
IJDH and BAI have over 20 years of demonstrated success enforcing Haitians’ human rights, in Haiti and abroad. We work in four areas: 1) impact litigation that opens the doors of Haitian, international and U.S. courts to precedent-setting human rights cases; 2) documentation that provides public officials, human rights advocates and grassroots activists the reliable information they need to speak up for human rights in Haiti; 3) transnational grassroots advocacy that compels governments and powerful institutions in Haiti and abroad to respect Haitians’ human rights; and 4) systemic capacity building that develops a corps of Haitian human rights lawyers and advocates trained to fight for sustainable change in their country.
Interns will work with and be supervised by IJDH attorneys on the following:
- Conducting legal and comparative research on the human right to an effective remedy and the implementation of large scale reparations;
- Supporting advocacy within the United Nations system, with the U.S. government and other UN member states, including drafting advocacy materials;
- Participating in regular team strategy meetings; and
- Contributing to media and public campaigning work to advocate for a rights-based UN response to the cholera epidemic in Haiti, including drafting press releases, talking points, providing project management support and contributing to social media work.
Interns are ideally based in New York or Boston, but remote arrangements are also possible.
- Current 2L, 3L or LLM students with a demonstrated background in human rights, transitional justice and/or the UN system;
- Excellent written and oral communication skills;
- High level of initiative and self-motivation;
- Ability to handle sensitive relationships and protect the confidentiality of our work and our communications;
- Must be available for a minimum of 10 hrs/week for the duration of the internship;
- Proficiency in French and/or Haitian Creole desirable, but not required.
This is an unpaid internship. Arrangements for academic credit can be explored.
Law students interested in the position of Fall Legal Intern should submit a cover letter, resume, law school transcript, short writing sample, and contact information for two references as soon as possible. Please send all application materials electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org July 27, 2018 and include “Legal Intern Fall 2018” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
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