William and Mary Law School
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Tristan Leavitt

Intern for Human Rights Without Frontiers, Belgium

Background
Human Rights Without Frontiers is an NGO formed in Brussels in 1989 for the purpose of monitoring, research, and analysis in the field of human rights as well as promoting democracy and the rule of law on a national and international level. Their emphasis is on human rights advocacy: bringing new ideas, norms and discourses into policy debates, promoting norm implementation by pressuring target actors to adopt new policies, and monitoring compliance with international standards. Part of their advocacy cycle is devoted to formulating issues and identifying possible target loci of advocacy, which are primarily in the domain of international organizations. The United Nations, the European Union, the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are their main venues for targeted and structured human rights advocacy activities.
 
Although my personal background in working on Capitol Hill includes working with all human rights issues, I am particularly interested in international religious freedom. With European elections in June, and the subsequent reorganization of the European Parliament and the political leadership of the European Commission, this will probably be a quiet summer for human rights issues; however, there may be more progress of freedom of religious belief issues.