This summer, I am working with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI). ABA ROLI works to strengthen justice systems and governance; provide access to justice; promote human rights; and create inclusive and sustainable development through numerous projects across the globe. I entered law school with a particular interest in international/comparative law and human rights work, so getting to be a part of some of ABA ROLI’s global projects is extremely exciting.
During the first week of my internship, I met the other members of my team (virtually since my internship is remote). I also learned about ABA ROLI’s global projects/departments and all of the fantastic work they have done in supporting robust justice systems and promoting human rights across the globe. Learning about all of these projects was a great way to orient myself to ABA ROLI and made me even more excited to be interning with them. I really admire how many of the programs/projects that ABA ROLI engages in internationally focus on equipping people in the country to provide aid so that the positive benefits of these programs can be sustainable, rather than an approach where they just enter a country, provide temporary help, and then leave. This method puts power in the hands of the actual members of that country and ensures that the positive work done is sustainable long after the project has officially ended.
Aside from orienting myself to ABA ROLI’s programs and meeting my team, I also was put on a research project. I’m currently working on research for the ABA’s Afghanistan Response Project. Currently, Afghan refugees make up the third-largest refugee group in the world. Many of these refugees are stuck in other countries with no access to legal support or the ability to find permanent, safe places to resettle. The goal of the project I am working on is to develop a comprehensive list of the countries currently accepting Afghan refugees and their criteria for qualification. This list can hopefully be a resource to match Afghan refugees to safe, permanent places they can resettle.