Event

Human Rights Centre Employability Fortnight

A comprehensive and intensive programme designed to improve your professional development.

  • Mon 30 May - Fri 10 Jun 22

    09:21

  • Online

    Zoom

  • Event speaker

    Various

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Human Rights Centre

  • Contact details

    Law and HRC Events and Communications Team

Are you contemplating the next stage in your lives, after completing your studies with us? Would you like to learn from the experiences of former undergraduate, LLM and MA Essex human rights students in their efforts to find a job in the human rights field?

The Human Rights Centre Employability Fortnight offers a comprehensive and intensive programme, carefully designed to improve your professional development and your job prospects. Our events focus upon the different areas of human rights which our graduates have typically pursued and offer you an invaluable opportunity to learn from Essex alumni who were once in the same position you are all in now. 

This programme is only available to Essex Final Year Undergraduate and Postgraduate students unless stated otherwise.

Our Employability Fortnight consists of separate themed workshops, each of which focuses upon a separate and highly sought-after sector of professional human rights employment. These include,

• Working within the UN system
• Working within the humanitarian sector
• Working for a human rights NGO
• Working for governmental bodies
• Pursuing a PhD and an academic career


In addition to these themed workshops, the University’s Careers Service is offering two workshops, focused upon the job application process and effective approaches to the job interview. Far too many applications are unsuccessful due to basic errors in producing a covering letter, producing a CV, or creating a strong impression at interview. These sessions will provide invaluable advice on these and other such areas. 

Event Schedule

Monday 30 May (14.00-15.00 BST) - Working within the UN system

A great many of our graduates have left Essex to secure successful human rights careers within the UN system, for bodies such as the Office of the High Commissioner, UN Women, UNICEF, UNESCO, and many others. What is it like to work in such high-profile organisations? How difficult is it to secure a job in places such as Geneva and New York? What can you do now to enhance your prospects of following in the footsteps of many Essex human rights alumni? All of these, and many other, questions will be addressed during this opening event of the programme.

Panellists: Florence Borrell, Angela Gianinni, Kate Gilmore, and Alice Lixi.

Floriane Borrell completed the Master's in Human Rights, Theory and Practice at Essex in 2018/2019. She is currently the Senior UN Advocacy Coordinator at Human Rights Watch’s office in Geneva. In this role, Floriane manages HRW's engagement with the Universal Periodic Review and UN Treaty Bodies and facilitates its advocacy work at the UN Human Rights Council. Prior to completing her master's at Essex, Floriane worked for three years at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York City as the legal assistant for their Europe and Global Advocacy programs, supporting reproductive rights advocacy and strategic litigation within European and UN human rights bodies; and for one year as an EU foreign and security policy trainee at the German Marshall Fund in Brussels. 

Angela Giannini joined the ISEAL Alliance in London working on advancing ambitious sustainability systems in 2022, working on the policy portfolio and engagement with governments. Prior to this, she worked as an environmental sustainability consultant for the Sustainable and Inclusive Value Chains Section of the International Trade Centre (ITC) and as a legal researcher for the International Labour Organisation (ILO) exploring the nexus of workers’ rights and the ecological transition of our economies. Previously, Angela worked for the European Commission DG-ECHO in Cambodia supporting rural communities to adapt to the effects of climate change. She holds an LL.M. in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from the University of Essex (2016-2017) and an LL.B. in International Law from the Universita’ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan.

Kate Gilmore is an Honorary Professor with the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex and a Professor-in-Practice at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).  She is Chair of the Board of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Vice Chair of the Interpeace Board and a member of the WHO Gender and Human Rights Advisory Panel on Human Reproduction and of their Immunization Agenda 2030 Partnership Panel.  A former United Nations (UN) Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, and prior to that Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director/Programmes with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Kate was also Executive Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International.  She started her career in Australia, working to combat violence against women and advance related public policy and services.

Alice Lixi graduated from Essex with an LLB in Law and Human Rights in 2012 and later completed the LLM in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in 2013/2014. Alice has worked for the past 6 years for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). She worked initially for the OHCHR Tunisia Country Office as a UNV. She then moved to Geneva as JPO Associate Human Rights Officer and later Human Rights Officer with the OHCHR Rule of Law and Democracy Section. Here she focuses on issues related to democracy and human rights. Before working for the UN, Alice was Project Development Assistant at the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). In between the LLB and LLM Alice interned with the FIDH Representation to the EU in Bruxelles and worked with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights in Cairo as Litigation Assistant. In the course of her studies at Essex Alice interned for OHCHR in Geneva and was a Frontrunner with the Essex Human Rights Alumni Association and Essex Transitional Justice Network. 


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Tuesday 31 May (14.00 – 15.00 BST): Working in the Humanitarian Field

Over the past forty years, Essex human rights graduates have sought and secured successful careers working within the humanitarian sector, for organisations such as UNHCR, the ICRC, Save the Children and others. Essex graduates can be found working in conflict zones across the world. What are the challenges of this vital work? Are you the right kind of person for this work? What are humanitarian organisations particularly looking for in their professional staff? Join us for answers to these and many other such questions. 

Panellists: Jean-Nicolas Beuze, Eleni Boffelli, Jonathan Horowitz, and Olga Khan

Jean-Nicolas Beuze worked for more than 23 years with the United Nations in the areas of Human Rights (OHCHR), Peacekeeping (DPKO) and Child Protection/education (UNICEF) at Headquarters and in the field (Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Afghanistan and the Middle-East and North Africa region) before joining UNHCR in Lebanon as Deputy Representative for Protection and Inter-Agency Coordination (2013/16). Prior to joining UNHCR, he was the UNICEF Child Protection Advisor for the MENA region (2010/13) after having been the Deputy Director of the Human Rights Unit of UN Peace-Keeping/DPKO mission in Afghanistan/UNAMA (2008/10). He previously worked as a Research Director in a human rights think-tank (International Council on Human Rights Policy). Prior to joining UNHCR in Iraq, he was the Representative in Yemen (2020/21) and in Canada (2017/19). Jean-Nicolas Beuze holds a LL.M in international human rights law from Essex University, UK, and a Masters’ degree in international relations from the Graduate Institute of International Relations, Geneva/Switzerland.

Elena Boffelli is a lawyer admitted to the Italian Bar in 2013; after practicing in Italy for 6 years in the field of international law, she started a LL.M in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the University of Essex in 2016. She soon joined UNHCR, working in Geneva as Legal Specialist, providing guidance and assistance to UNHCR field operations and HQ on asylum, mixed movements, counter trafficking and smuggling, and protection at sea. She then joined the regional office for the Americas, supporting UNHCR operations in enhancing protection interventions within the Venezuela Situation response and UNHCR co-leadership role in the Regional Inter-agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela. Since 2019, she works as Protection Officer in Colombia, where she has spent most of her time at the border with Venezuela, coordinating the protection response in a context where refugees, migrants and Colombian returnees coming from Venezuela, and internally displaced people are continuously affected by conflict and natural disasters. While she continues to work with UNHCR, Elena started a part-time PhD at the School of Law of the University of Essex, with a research project on State responsibilities in complex humanitarian emergencies.

Jonathan Horowitz is a Legal Advisor at the ICRC’s Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada, based in Washington, D.C., where he focuses on new technologies in armed conflict, urban warfare, and partnered operations. Previously he was a Legal Advisor to the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar and a Senior Legal Officer for the Open Society Justice Initiative. Jonathan has also worked as a Political-Military Affairs and Rule of Law Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan where he advised on detention policy. Jonathan has managed teams of investigators and conducted investigations into alleged human rights and/or IHL violations in Afghanistan, France, Kenya, the Netherlands, Pakistan, and Sudan for the United Nations, nongovernmental organizations, and legal defense teams. Jonathan received his LLM from the University of Essex (UK) and has published widely on international humanitarian law and human rights law.

Olga Khan has over 10 years of UN experience specializing in UN Programme and Project Management. She is a certified trainer and tutor of UNHCR Programme Management (PM1) learning course. Currently Olga works as Associate Programme Officer at UNHCR Yemen, one of the largest UNHCR operations in the world. Prior to it, she worked as a National Programme Officer (2014-2020) and Officer-in-Charge (2019-2020) at UNHCR Kazakhstan National Office in Nur-Sultan (Astana). Before joining UNHCR, Olga worked for the UN Women Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (2010-2014) and UNV Kazakhstan (2008-2009). Olga graduated from Essex with an MA in Human Rights & Cultural Diversity.

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Wednesday 1 June (16.00 – 17.00, BST): Working for a Human Rights NGO

The NGO sector makes absolutely vital contributions to the global protection and promotion of human rights. The NGO sector consists of large and very recognisable organisations such as Amnesty International, Minority Rights Group and Human Rights Watch and far more local, less visible bodies and organisations. As with the other areas of professional human rights employment, a vast number of Essex graduates can be found working at all levels within a great many NGOs across the globe. Are you considering a career in this area? What does working in this area require? How can you secure your place in this all-important sector? 

Panellists: Hans Fridlund, Kate Gilmore, Brian Griffey, and Silvia Quattrini

Kate Gilmore is an Honorary Professor with the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex and a Professor-in-Practice at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).  She is Chair of the Board of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Vice Chair of the Interpeace Board and a member of the WHO Gender and Human Rights Advisory Panel on Human Reproduction and of their Immunization Agenda 2030 Partnership Panel.  A former United Nations (UN) Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, and prior to that Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director/Programmes with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Kate was also Executive Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International.  She started her career in Australia, working to combat violence against women and advance related public policy and services.

Brian Griffey is a regional researcher and advisor on North America for Amnesty International’s international secretariat, based in Washington, DC. Since 2017, he has authored reports on the US government’s global record on human rights, as well as its domestic violations of the rights of peaceful protesters, human rights defenders, and migrants and asylum seekers, among others. Prior to Amnesty International, Mr. Griffey worked for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Human Rights Watch,Amnesty International USA, and as a consultant to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), non-governmental organizations, and university human rights centers. He also worked as a journalist at several periodicals. Mr. Griffey is an appointed member of the Commission on Human Rights of the District of Columbia. He holds an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex (2010). Some of his recent publications are available here.

Silvia Quattrini is North Africa Manager at Minority Rights Group (MRG). Having worked at MRG since 2014, she has focused on a variety of topics concerning minorities and groups in situation of marginalisation, including freedom of religion or belief across the MENA region, racial discrimination and LGBTQI+ rights in Tunisia, indigenous language rights in North Africa. Her experience ranges from fundraising, research, advocacy and policy work to capacity building projects aiming to support civil society organisations and grass-root organising, network building and training facilitation. Silvia graduated from Essex with an LLM in International Human Rights Law. 

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Monday 6 June: (12:00-13:00pm)
Working for Human Rights within Government 

Governments play a vital role in the promotion and protection of human rights. It is obviously essential that human rights defenders can be found working in governmental bodies, such as diplomatic missions, overseas aid and development bodies, and the like. What is this work like? How can you contribute to the human rights cause by securing a career in this area? What kinds of people are best suited for this kind of work? Join us to find out.

Panellists: Nicola Brassil, Fian Foley, Tatiana Olarte

Nicola Brassil is a Third Secretary with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, currently based in Dublin on the team leading Ireland’s 2021-2022 term on the UN Security Council. Prior to this, she worked on disarmament and non-proliferation issues for Ireland, including at Ireland’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. Since completing the MA in Theory and Practice of Human Rights at the University of Essex (2013-2014), Nicola has worked on a range of human rights issues. In Kosovo, she was engaged on gender equality with UN Women and EULEX Kosovo, and on minority rights with the European Centre for Minority Rights Issues. Nicola also worked with the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) on South East Europe. In Uganda, she served as a UN Youth Volunteer with UNICEF, on their Justice for Children programme. Nicola also holds a BA in Psychology from the National University of Ireland Galway.

Faran Foley (she/her) is Deputy Ambassador at the Embassy of Ireland to Aotearoa New Zealand, Independent State of Samoa and the Kingdom of Tonga. Prior to her arrival to Aotearoa New Zealand, Faran worked in Ireland’s Foreign Ministry where she worked closely with Senior Management in developing and supporting Ireland’s global strategies and overseas ambition, as well as governance within the Ministry, particularly in the context of promoting gender equality, equality and inclusion.  Faran joins the diplomatic service from the NGO sector, where she specialised in political and civil human rights issues and advocating for the rights of victims and survivors in domestic and international foras. During this time, she brought several submissions to UN agencies and the ICC on torture and inhumane and degrading treatment in Libya, and conducted the first ever review of housing conditions for asylum seekers in Northern Ireland. Faran has an undergraduate degree in Law from Queens University Belfast and a postgraduate degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex.

Tatiana Olarte Fernández is a qualified barrister at the Colombian Bar, with a specialization (1 year postgraduate program) on Constitutional Law at National University. She has an LLM in International Human Rights Law at the University of Essex and an LLM in Gender and Law in SOAS, University of London. She has worked at the International Organization for Migration in Colombia as the Gender Coordinator at the Inclusion for Peace Program and as a researcher for the Global Fund for Survivors of Sexual Violence.  At the present moment she is the Gender Advisor of the INTEGRA program of USAID which works for the socio-cultural and economic integration of migrant population from Venezuela in Colombia.

Dr Matthew Sheader is the East Asia Senior Justice and Youth Engagement Adviser with the British Council. He oversees large-scale access to justice and natural resource management programmes in Myanmar and the Philippines, funded by the European Union and the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office. Matthew completed his PhD at the University of Essex Human Rights Centre in 2018 on the cultural political economy of local human rights civil society organisations in Myanmar. He is also a graduate of the MA in Human Rights Theory and Practice (2008). He has worked with the British Council and civil society groups in Myanmar since 2005. He has developed and managed large-scale, multi-agency programmes for the Department for International Development, Canadian International Development Agency and the FCO.

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Tuesday 7 June, (11.00 - 12.30, BST): Careers Service Session (1)

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Thursday 9 June, (11.00 – 12.00, BST): A Human Rights Career in Academia

As you yourselves can testify, universities and academia make indispensable contributions to educating future human rights defenders. A small, but select, group of Essex human rights graduates have gone on to complete PhDs and have secured academic positions in universities across the globe. What does this work entail? Are you thinking of undertaking a PhD? Do you want to teach human rights in the future? Join us for this important panel. 

Panellists: Dr Koldo Casla, Dr Corinne Lennox, and Dr Claire Simmons

Dr Koldo Casla
is a Lecturer in Law and the Director of the Human Rights Centre Clinic. He also leads the 'Human Rights Local' project at the Human Rights Centre. Between 2017 and 2019. He was a Research Associate at the Institute of Health & Society of Newcastle University, where he co-drafted the first Bill on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the UK. Between 2016 and 2019, he was the Policy Director of Just Fair, leading the organisation's research, strategic communications, partnerships and campaigning on economic and social rights in the UK. Between 2013 and 2019, he worked as an independent researcher for Amnesty International, authoring four reports on the rights to health, education and housing in Spain. Over the years, he has also been very involved in Amnesty's strategy-development and governance at the international, national and local levels. Between 2011 and 2013, he was the Chief of Staff of the Human Rights Commissioner of the Basque Country (“Ararteko”). He holds a PhD in European and International Studies from King’s College London (2017), a Fulbright MA in International Studies from the University of Denver (2011), a MA in Theory and Practice of Human Rights from the University of Essex (2009), and a Law Degree from the University of the Basque Country (2008). He is the author of "Politics of International Human Rights Law Promotion in Western Europe: Order versus Justice" (Routledge 2019), and "Spain and Its Achilles' Heels: The Strong Foundations of a Country's Weaknesses" (Rowman & Littlefield 2021), and co-editor of "Social Rights and the Constitutional Moment: Learning from Chile and International Experiences" (Hart 2022).
 
Dr Corinne Lennox is Senior Lecturer in Human Rights at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London and Associate Director of the Human Rights Consortium, also at the School of Advanced Study.  She holds a PhD and MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), an MA in the Theory and Practice of Human Rights from the University of Essex, and a BA (Honours) in Political Science and Human Rights from McMaster University in Canada.  Her research focuses on issues of minority and indigenous rights protection, civil society mobilization for human rights and on human rights and development. She has worked for many years as a human rights practitioner and trainer with various NGOs, including at Minority Rights Group International (2001-2006). She has been a consultant on minority rights for the UNDP, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues and the Swiss government. Dr. Lennox is a Trustee of the Dalit Solidarity Network-UK, a Visiting Fellow at the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, a Visiting Fellow at the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies and is a member of the UK Network on Minority Groups and Human Rights. 

Dr Claire Simmons is a researcher at the Essex Armed Conflict and Crisis Hub, part of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. She is currently working on a project with the NGO CIVIC (Civilians in Conflict) drafting policy papers on the protection of civilians in conflict. Claire completed her PhD at the University of Essex Law School in 2021, on the independence and impartiality of military investigations in armed conflict. She is one of the authors of the “Guidelines on Investigating Violations of International Humanitarian Law” published by the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Claire has worked with the British Red Cross and local human rights organisations in Thailand, France, and the UK.

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Thursday 9 June, (14.30 – 16.00): Careers Service Session II

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