2006 Summer Internships
Reflections from the field
Projects undertaken by our 2006 interns included access to justice and prisoner’s rights in Ghana, commercial and sexual exploitation of children in Thailand, climate change in the context of aboriginal communities in the Yukon, and human trafficking in Kosovo.
Interns Chelsea Paradis and Edudzi Ofori with Georgette at the JHR office in Ghana
“Before I started this internship I had some knowledge of international law but as a result of the projects I have worked on I have learned a great deal more. I have become, to varying degrees, familiar with domestic laws and legal systems in various countries around the world. In addition, I learned a tremendous amount about commercial and sexual exploitation of children’s issues, including trafficking and sex tourism.
I had the opportunity to learn and make a meaningful contribution to an organization that is doing noble and important work. I got to work with folks from all corners of the globe. I was part of a committed, dedicated, positive and collegial team. All that, while soaking of the sights and culture of a fascinating city and a great country. Honestly, I can’t imagine a better way to spend a summer!”
Beverley Lane, University of Windsor, intern with ECPAT, Bangkok, Thailand
“I learned a lot from this experience, both about my future career and about myself. I’ve realized that NGOs and think tanks can be of great use in places like Kosovo, where the economic, political and social structure is in a state of transition. They are a source of education, training and knowledge for students, professionals and the community at large. However, they require a great amount of leadership and vision. I’ve realized that I may one day like to create my own NGO, or alternatively I would like to work for a donor organization that funds NGOs and worthwhile projects.
I also learned a lot about this part of the world. I’ve always been interested in the Balkans, its history and where it’s headed. This internship provided me with an opportunity to question what I’ve read and learned about Kosovo and that has been of tremendous personal significance to me.”
Vukica Djuric, University of Ottawa, intern with Kosovo Law Centre, Pristina, Kosovo
“The tasks were absolutely challenging and rewarding. They were challenging because my experiences and education have prepared me for examinations and interacting with professors. I had to stretch myself to create a product that was useful to a grassroots NGO and the communities that it serves. The tasks were rewarding in the sense that my work will be used by the Yukon First Nations in developing their strategies to address climate change. My work was also personally rewarding because I was able to incorporate ideas, whose utility I was convinced of in class, into projects this summer.
I had many unique experiences during the traveling I did on behalf of AAC. I was sent to the United Nations meeting in New York, the Council of Yukon First nations General Assembly in Mayo, a land claims conference in Gatineau, and to Old Crow.
I was invited to a sweat lodge, social events, and culture activities. People shared the advice of Elders, ways of living, and work that needs to be done, all with a legal perspective. I think people hold a lot of hope for lawyers, but they are searching for people with an open mind. Go on a CLA adventure, and they will find you.”
Michael Fleischmann, Osgoode, intern with Arctic Athabaskan Council, Yukon
“I learned a lot more about the Ghanaian society and culture in the past three months than I had ever learned in the 13 years that I had stayed in Ghana. .I learned that access to justice in Ghana is a very long and difficult process and unfortunately those that are severely affected are the poor and under privileged. In the areas of political and civil rights, the country has seen tremendous progress. However, the same cannot be said for socio-economic and cultural rights.. I now have a different and more mature understanding about what it means to live and what you have to do to survive in such a society. I hope that some time in the future, I will move back to Ghana with a view of taking an active part in developing the society.
I genuinely enjoyed the internship and I had a good and positive experience in Ghana. The internship is challenging yet offers exciting avenues to gain hands-on exposure in an area of the law where students cannot get the same exposure working in a firm or with a local organization.”
Edudzi Ofori, University of Ottawa, intern with Journalists for Human Rights, Accra, Ghana
“What was the highlight of my internship? Experiencing Ghana from a legal perspective by learning about human rights and access to justice in Ghana. Meeting inspiring people who work in a very difficult and frustrating system yet who never give up! The best part is that the internship has reconfirmed for me my passion and drive to be in law school – to do social justice and international human rights law. Thanks CLA for an amazingly enriching opportunity that will serve me for life! ”
Chelsea Paradis, University of Ottawa, intern with Journalists for Human Rights, Accra, Ghana
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