Three months after my internship has ended, two after I have spent two weeks in the interior of Turkey, and one month after I have moved to a new country to start a new life for five months, I have a lot to say and reflect upon about how my internship experience this summer for a mere six weeks has impacted and continues to impact me in my every day thoughts and aspirations. The most important difference I note in my post-internship self is that when I say to people that I want to be a human rights lawyer, I know more what I mean and I can describe examples of what type of work I would be happy doing.
There is a lot that has happened recently that has made me happy and grateful to have had the experience I did. First of all, when I went to the interior of Turkey and was only some miles away from Syria, and we could see the Syrian refugee camps in Turkey, and to see those people there made me feel helpless–we were just driving by but are they ok? Are they being tortured? As a human rights lawyer I would be able to work on cases like that. Next, presently, in the hard times we are experiencing right now as a human entity with the refugees from Syria and their lack of places to go for international help, it makes me grateful for the work that refugee and asylum lawyers do to help. As I look back on my experiences working with the children especially, I can be proud and grateful that this is a field I have fallen into and I look forward to developing this passion further, especially in light of all the human rights violations and atrocities I might be able to help mediate on an individual level, case by case, in the future.
Currently, I am interning in Argentina at a human rights organization where there is a whole judicial aspect to the human rights law–additionally, here in Argentina, there are so many laws about human rights because after the last dictatorship there was a lot that needed regulations. Due to that, there is a large abundance of human rights law work that can be done here in Argentina and I am so excited to explore those options. Additionally, my internship has provided me with many opportunities to attend conferences in human rights and I am so excited to attend the conference this coming wednesday on universal jurisdiction since at my internship I learned about that through a case the lawyers at the institute were working on that would take place in Spain since it is a country with universal jurisdiction. When the lawyer I am working with at the foundation here in Argentina brought up the law, it was much easier for me to understand it in spanish after already having the basis in english, and also, I felt more credible when talking about the law because I was able to say that I understood what was going on and I was able to contribute to the conversation about why there should be universal jurisdiction. That is one of the main reasons I am also very thankful for this past internship–it has made me more knowledgeable in this field and given me the basic tools necessary to converse with others and learn more about the field. Once you have the base knowledge, you can move onto the next level, and my internship this summer at Cardozo Law Institute of Human Rights has not only given me a wonderful knowledge base, but it has sparked a passion in me that I am eager to continue exploring.