Building connections with individual, communities, and governments in Asia, the foundation works on issues including women empowerment, the environment, governance and law, economic development, and regional cooperation. Working for a “peaceful, just, and thriving Asia,” the Foundation has been partnering “with innovative leaders and communities to build effective institutions and advance pathbreaking reforms”; for the last six decades.
Human Rights Law Network
HRLN is one of the leading human rights organizations in India, with over 100 attorneys conducting impact litigation from regional offices throughout the country. The PHRGE fellowship is in HRLN’s national headquarters in New Delhi with the Reproductive Rights Initiative, which at any given time is litigating approximately 50 cases before the Supreme Court of India and various State High Courts, typically pursuing claims based on Indian constitutional law and international human rights law. The Reproductive Rights Initiative also advises regional offices on strategy for their own reproductive rights cases, which involve maternal and child health, access to abortion, coerced sterilization, child marriage, gender-based violence, various forms of discrimination in accessing healthcare, and many other issues affecting reproductive health. It is common for PHRGE fellows to be given considerable responsibility, including drafting documents to be filed before the Supreme Court of India and participating in fact-finding missions, trainings, and meetings throughout India, which entail travel and field work. While the fellowship is based in the Reproductive Rights Initiative, PHRGE fellows have also worked on women’s rights, acid attacks, and environmental issues. This is a unique international co-op with the opportunity to work on important impact litigation cases with an organization that has a successful track record in pursuing ambitious relief before the country’s highest courts.
“I was a Winter 2010/2011 PHREGE Fellow at the Human Rights Law Network in Dehli, India. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in India. The culture is so rich, and HRLN’s work is extraordinary. I learned so much on this co-op, and was able to travel places that I would not have been able to travel otherwise. - Asia Watson.
“Through PHRGE’s fellowship program; I traveled to India the summer after my 1L year, where I was given the opportunity to assist in preparing litigation materials for a petition to the Supreme Court of India. My legal confidence and research developed as a result of the immediate responsibility I was given early on, and I have PHRGE to thank.” - Shaneka Davis
“The work that I am doing with HRLN is so meaningful. I have already seen examples of our how work improves the daily lives of those who are most vulnerable. - Sam Bombaugh, '17
Since 1979, Al-Haq has been working in the Occupied Palestenian Territory; to protect and promote human rights and the rule of law. Al-Haq’s work includes documenting and reporting human rights violations in Palestine, seeking justice through national and international mechanisms, and building partnernships with Palestinian civil society organizations and government instituions to further the presence of human rights ideals in Palestinian law and policy.
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
ITUC’s mission is “the promotion and defence of workers’ rights and interests, through international cooperation between trad unions, global campaigning and advocacy within the major global institutions. Its focus areas include society and the workplace, equality and non-discrimination, international solidary, trade union and human rights, and the economy. ITUC works through its Asia-Pacific, African and American regional branches and in connection with Global Union Federations, the International Labor Organization, and various UN Specialized Agencies.
International Development Law Organization (IDLO)
Headquartered in Rome and with a presence in The Hague and the UN (New York and Geneva), IDLO is an intergovermental organiation with “an exclusive mandate to promote the rule of law. The organization works to “enable countries to design, reform and strengthen those laws and institutions most apt to deliver justice, dignity and economic opportunity.” Focusing on areas including commerical law, intellectual proeprty, and environmental law, its vision is not simply to improve the law but also improve access to the law.
Centre for Disability Law and Policy
The CDLP works to produce research concerning national and international disability law. Since 2008, the Center has been working to “broaden debate about disability law reform in Ireland by placing it in an international and comparative context and by highlighting international best practice.” Current research projects include “Access to Justice for Children with Mental Disabilities, Asia Pacific Forum NHRI Manual,” and the “Modernisation of Services.”
Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE)
When operating, COHRE worked from and in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. The Centre focused on efforts aimed at forced eviction, women and housing rights, housing and land restitution, the rights to water and sanitation and economic, social and cultural rights stratetic litigation. COHRE’s mission was “to ensure the full enjoyment of the human right to adequate housing for everyone, everywhere.”
Action Program for Equality and Social Inclusion (PAIIS)
Since 2007, PAIIS, a public interest law clinic at the University of Andes School of Law, has been working “to create awareness, generate legal action and political advocacy for the advancement of human rights, equality and social inclusion of historically marginlized groups.” This manifests in efforts to prevent discrimination on the basis of age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ability through a variety of strategies including rights pedagogy, technical support in the design and implementation of public policies, stratetigic litigation and direct legal representation, research, and training students in the practice of public interest law.
“Through my PHRGE fellowship, I was able to meet first hand with people impacted by a trend toward mass incarceration in Colombia, and see the conditions they experienced while in detention, particularly in the “disability ward” of one prison, and the women’s high security section of another. This experience has indelibly marked the way that I think about and approach my work as a human rights advocate. - J.M. Kirby '13
Rich Coast Project
The Rich Coast Project connects local residents, international volunteers, academics, artists, and civil society actors in Costa Rica to organize responsive and localized efforts. The Project’s mission is “to create a replicable model of community-based human rights advocacy that uses storytelling and digital archiving to foster community resilience, empower citizen engagement, and increase access to information so that local communities may have a meaningful stake in their history and their future.” To combat the rapid increase in crime, poverty, inequality and land insecurity as a result of development and globalization, Rich Coast works to create a “living archive” that empowers the community.
“My fourth and final co-op was a PHRGE create-your-own international co-op that sent me to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. There I worked with NUSL alumnus Emily Yozell to learn about the precarious state of land ownership and the threat this poses to the cultural survival of local Afro-Caribbean communities. Thanks to the support of PHRGE, I was able to spend three months living among and learning from these communities. I was both intrigued by the complexity of the issue and moved by the stories of those I met. When I returned to Boston last summer to graduate and study for the bar exam, I knew I wanted to keep working for these communities. In the past year I have returned to Costa Rica twice and established The Rich Coast Project, a community storytelling and collective history project aimed at advancing the social, economic and cultural rights of coastal Afro-Caribbean populations and other communities along Costa Rica’s southern Caribbean coast.” - Katherine Beck, '39
The Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Project (ProDESC)
Since its founding in 2005, ProDESC has been working to defend the economic, social, and cultural rights of underrepresented workers and communities in Mexico. Through the “integral defense of workers and communities that systematically contributes to the enforcement, justiciability and accountability of these rights,” ProDESC is aiming for higher participation and quality of life for workers and their communities.
Maryland Legal Aid Bureau (MDLAB)
MDLAB is a state-wide non-profit law firm that has provided quality legal services to low-income individuals and is the first legal services organization in the country to adopt a human rights framework. In doing so, it has been an incubator of ideas, analysis and action on how best to harness, in a practical way, the set of potentially game-changing tools, and strategies provided by international human rights in advocating for real change in the lives of the poor and disenfranchised. MDLAB seeks to incorporate human rights norms, language and strategies into its domestic work to help re-frame debates, advocate for holistic approaches and advance the recognition and protection of basic human rights. Students at MDLAB collaborate with the MDLAB Project Director to ensure a full integration of human rights methodologies into every aspect of work done at MDLAB, including litigation, trainings, community outreach materials, staff Ð client relationships and office systems.
The mission of PeaceTones is to “foster rule of law from the ground up and create sustainable incomes for musicians living in communities torn apart by war, protracted conflict and natural disaster.” Self-described as a fair trade music movement, Peace Tones works to empower musicians by educating them about marketing, their rights, and access to online platforms. In addition, Peace Tones operates as a non-profit record label for musicians with a passion for social justice.
Oxfam-America is a leading international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. Together with individuals and local groups in more than 90 countries, Oxfam-America saves lives, helps people overcome poverty, and fights for social justice. It is one of the 14 affiliates in the international confederation, Oxfam. Students work in the Private Sector Engagement Unit, which addresses human rights and corporate responsibility issues. Previous NUSL student work has involved defining the human rights obligations of multinational corporations, participating in a multi-stakeholder initiative on governance and contributing to the movement on socially responsible investment.
I’ve always hated being a student, I just I always saw it as a necessary evil to get where I wanted to go. That being said, there are times where I’ve wished I was back in law school, often so I could justify going on co-op again! Oxfam, it was interesting to see the interaction with pharmaceutical companies in a global context, and how dynamics in the private sector worked in addressing the need for access to medicines in developing countries. - Purvi Patel
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)
Physicians for Human Rights mobilizes health professionals to advance health, dignity, and justice, and promotes the right to health for all. PHR (1) advocates for fair treatment of asylum seekers and immigration detainees and staffs a network of 300 health professionals who conduct forensic examinations of individuals seeking asylum in the U.S.; (2) documents torture around the world including the systematic use of torture by U.S. personnel against detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and Bagram; and (3) promotes the right to health for individuals in state custody. Students provide legal support to PHR’s Asylum Program Director, for example, preparing briefing materials on torture under international human rights law for presentations at medical schools, drafting articles on immigration detention and the right to health and participating in investigations and policy work on the lack of adequate health care for immigration detainees.
Soon after I started at FBD, I reached out to my former PHRGE co-op employer, Physicians for Human Rights, to see if they had any work I could do on a pro bono basis. I was tasked with writing an NGO report on Russia’s upcoming review under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), using medico-legal affidavits prepared in support of Russian asylum cases. I was so happy to be able to continue working for such a great organization, and it felt like a great way to maintain my PHRGE roots at the same time - Sari Long.
International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR)
A branch of the Tides Center, ICAR is a coalition of human rights, environmental, labor, and development organizations that creates, promotes, and defends legal frameworks to ensure corporations respect human rights in their global operations. Currently, the steering committe is made up of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Earth Rights International, and Global Witness. ICAR’s initiatives include work concerning disclsoure and transparency, procurement, UN guiding principles on busines and human rights, and extraterritorial obligations and access to judicial remedy.
“During my co-op at the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), one of my focus areas has been corporate transparency. ICAR believes - and I strongly agree, that companies have a responsibility to report on their human rights impacts”. - Nicole Santiago, '14
National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP)
The mission of NLCHP is to serve as the legal arm of the nationwide movement to prevent and end homelessness. To achieve its mission, the organization pursues three main strategies: impact litigation, policy advocacy and public education. NLCHP strives to place homelessness in the larger context of poverty. By taking this approach, the organization aims to address homelessness as a visible manifestation of deeper causes, including the shortage of affordable housing, insufficient income and inadequate social services. Students work on NLCHPÕs human rights projects, including working with local housing commissions to embrace a human right to housing, litigating human rights issues with local lawyers and raising U.S. homelessness and poverty issues in international fora.
“My Co-op with the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) was a truly enriching experience. During my Co-op with NLCHP, I co-authored a recommendation briefing on security of tenure and criminalization of homelessness for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing. I also helped draft a shadow report to the United Nations Humans Rights Committee regarding U.S. compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Working with NLCHP not only gave me an opportunity to enhance my legal skills, but it also solidified my interest in international law and commitment to human rights advocacy. - Nicole Mcallister, '15.
“I was honored to be one of the first PHRGE fellows. In the winter of 2007-2008, I worked with the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) Specifically, I contributed to the civil society shadow report to the United States report to and review by the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). In February 2008, I traveled to Geneva with NLCHP and our civil society comrades to present our findings and report to the CERD committee at the United Nations. This report and the related testimony to the committee highlighted deficiencies in US law and protocol under the CERD convention, and served as a counterpoint to the US State Department presentation regarding US efforts on compliance. While most of my time pre-Geneva was spent in support of the US review, I also worked on amicus briefs and policy efforts regarding criminalization of the homeless in the US, and efforts to support homeless children in education. The experience was informative and influential, and I hope other NUSL students have similar opportunities. - Monica Katz-Lapides '09
“My PHRGE fellowship gave me the opportunity to travel to another city and work for a wonderful organization where I learned invaluable skills and experience in law and policy." - Leah Tedesco '13-14
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
The ACLU has been a leader of civil rights protection in the U.S. since its founding in 1920. The ACLU has branches in every state working “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.” Pursuing civil liberties cases as well as legislative advocacy, the ACLU works to defend the scope of civil rights, from freedom of speech to freedom from unwarranted government intrusion to protection against unlawful discrimination.
Capital Appeals Project in New Orleans
The Capital Appeals Project provides representation to all indigent defendants sentenced to death in Louisiana. Our staff also resource ongoing capital trials, provide training and consultation for capital defense attorneys, engage in public outreach and education on issues relating to capital punishment, and advocate for continued improvements in the criminal justice system.
Center for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD)
CEHRD is a rural-based and rural-focused non-profit
organisation founded on August 15, 1999 by
conservationists, environmentalists, activists,
and health workers in the Niger Delta region of
Nigeria. CEHRD was formed to respond to the
environmental, human rights, rural health, and
underdevelopment problems plaguing the Niger
Their goal is to serve as a bridge between the rural
communities of Nigeria and their rights by
empowering them through education and assistance.
Center for Law and Education (CLE)
Community Action Program Legal Services (CAPLAW)
CAPLAW is a non-profit membership corporation dedicated to providing the legal, governance and management resources necessary to sustain and strengthen the national Community Action Agency (CAA) network. Through its in-house staff and a network of private attorneys, CAPLAW provides consultations, training, and resources on a wide variety of legal, governance and management topics. This assistance enables CAAs to operate legally sound and well-governed organizations, thereby enhancing their ability to effect positive change in their communities. The goal is to strengthen CAAsÕ ability to provide opportunities for low-income individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency.
Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) Immigration Unit
GBLS Immigration Unit provides legal represention and advocates on behalf of low-income immigrants. They prioritize cases of immigrants who are seeking permanent refuge and safe haven, individuals subjected to domestic violence and unaccompanied children. The goal is to enable clients to become documented, and ultimately to attain permanent legal status in the United States.
NYC Commission on Human Rights
The New York City Commission on Human Rights is charged with the enforcement of the Human Rights Law, Title 8 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, and with educating the public and encouraging positive community relations. The Commission is divided into two major bureaus—Law Enforcement and Community Relations. The New York City Human Rights Law is one of the most comprehensive civil rights laws in the nation.
Directed by an attorney coordinator in Texas, the project works with local community based programs, the immigration court, and the organized bar to identify detained immigrant asylum seekers who have strong claims to asylum or other relief under U.S. law but, owing to indigence, cannot afford to hire private counsel. The ProBAR coordinator matches asylum applicants requesting counsel with attorney volunteers who are available to travel to Harlingen to represent them.
The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
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PHRGE Fellowships and Testimonials
The Program for Human Rights in the Global Economy (PHRGE) Fellowship Program provides stipends to place four Northeastern Law students each quarter with human rights advocacy organizations in the U.S. and globally. This map locates PHRGE Fellowship sites and provides basic information about each host organization. For additional information, click here.
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