The first thing I finished this week was the background research for the MacArthur proposal. This proposal is all about solving a worldwide problem so my job was to research the current state of torture, pre-trial detention, and lack of rights awareness across the world. After looking at data from the UN, the World Prison Brief, Amnesty International, and several other organizations I found enough information to start writing the proposal. I learned that while 155 states have ratified the UN Convention against Torture, 79 of those states still regularly practice torture as an official policy. There are also another 40 UN states who have not adopted the convention and also practice torture. Amnesty International also found that 44% of respondents from over 21 countries across every continent said they fear being tortured if they are arrested. While all of these statistics paint a very grim picture of the current state of affairs, there is also a glimmer of hope as well. 82% of all respondents asked by Amnesty International believe that there should be clear laws against torture. This offers an opportunity for organizations like International Bridges to Justice to step in and provide methods to create these laws by working with local governments and hosting rights awareness campaigns with the local population. I also found out that over three million people are held in pre-trial detention around the world and while in recent years the pre-trial population rate has fallen in eighty countries, it has grown in ninety-eight countries. Many of these individuals are held unnecessarily, for long periods of time, and in very poor conditions. With all of this information I can now start writing the MacArthur proposal. This background information is necessary in order to make a compelling case for why this problem is a global concern that needs to be addressed immediately by International Bridges to Justice and its partners.
After finishing the research for MacArthur, I was pulled aside to work on another proposal for a company called Salesforce. Salesforce provides technology and software for other organizations and companies to use in their day to day operations. IBJ has worked with Salesforce before and uses some of their software, and as a result, we felt like this new proposal would provide another opportunity to work together. Since Salesforce deals mainly with developing new technologies, this proposal had to involve developing some form of technology for IBJ. After some discussion with other staff members we decided to focus around the creation of an app for IBJ’s Justice Hub. The Justice Hub connects lawyers, judges, law schools, law firms, governments, companies, organizations, and members of the public in order to provide and develop solutions to solve the problems surrounding criminal justice systems around the world. This is a project that IBJ has been working on for some time now and the development of a new app would provide an opportunity to make this project far more accessible. The main challenge with this proposal will be writing in a new style. Since Salesforce is a tech focused company, this proposal must use tech focused language in describing what the new app will provide. Instead of only glossing over details of the app like other proposals would do, this proposal must provide a far more in-depth look at the technology being used and how it is innovative. This provides a nice change of pace from other proposals and I look forward to working on this one for the next couple of weeks.
The last thing I was assigned this week is a new proposal to the KIOS Foundation which supports human rights initiatives in East Africa and South Asia. This proposal is going to be for around $800,000 which is enormous amount of money for IBJ’s programs. Another intern was working on this proposal before but his last day was on Friday so he handed it off to me. I am going to try to finish it before my last day, which is three weeks from now, but I am not sure if that is possible because of the size and scope of this proposal on top of the MacArthur proposal as well. Regardless, this proposal along with Salesforce and MacArthur will keep me plenty busy in these last weeks.
Recently, the office has been getting much smaller. As of now we have had around 4 interns leave in the past couple weeks. I have gotten to know all of them really well over the last two and a half months and it is always sad to see them go. One of the best parts of this internship has been working with smart and passionate people from all around the world, trading life experiences, and sharing laughs. I know that no matter what happens in the future, I have made many new lifelong friends and I hope to see them all again.
To finish off the week, I decided to hike up Mont Saleve which is the closet mountain to Geneva located just over the French border across Lake Geneva. It is around a two and a half hour hike up very steep paths covered with loose dirt and rocks. In the end I reached the top at an elevation of around 3,600 ft. and was greeted with a beautiful view of the city of Geneva and the surrounding mountains. It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful Switzerland is. If you are ever in the area of Geneva I highly recommend you either hike up Saleve or take the cable car up to the top, you will not regret it.