Human Rights Foundation in NYC by Caitlin Thompson

by tuftsigl
Jun 07

I write my first blog post after my first days at both internships. For the first month of the summer, I will be working both at the Institute of Modern Russia (IMR) and the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), splitting my time equally between the two. I started at the Human Rights Foundation, and I write today, Monday, after my first day at IMR.

It looks as though I will not be running for coffee at either internship, which is nice. I am very excited to work at HRF because I have entered the office a week before the annual Oslo Freedom Forum, put on by HRF. I attended the Freedom Forum last October, and I consider that weekend one of the most informative and inspirational experiences of my life thus far. I am eager to see the work that goes into the conference. Today, I researched some of the speakers and wrote short introductory bios for them, as well as finding pictures of one of the attending artist’s work in Afghanistan. The office is rather frantic right now in preparation for the conference, but so far, I love the attitude of all the people there. Everyone is friendly, intelligent, energetic and hard-working; exactly the type of people I work well with. Cool moment: when I was introduced to one of the lawyers in the office, he recognized me as the moderator from the media panel at the 2015 EPIIC Symposium. He complimented me on how I handled a challenging discussion, and he said it was an informative panel. Nice to start on such a note. I am hoping the experience continues to be as fun, as well as fulfilling.

As for IMR, I had a great time jumping right in to research. Today, I spent the day researching bilateral agreements Russia has backed out of or undermined under Putin’s presidency. This was interesting work, and it gave me the chance to explore some treaties I had learned about through EPIIC.  Hopefully, I will be doing relevant and important work there because I find it interesting so far. 

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