Catherine Baker, Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO)
I am currently Human Rights and Refugees Programme Assistant at the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO), a year-long position based Geneva working with the UN human rights mechanisms. In this role, I have worked on a range of issues, including migrant rights, the rights of children of prisoners and the death penalty. In particular, I have engaged heavily with the process towards the development of a major new international agreement on migration, as well as more broadly with the Human Rights Council and Treaty Bodies, particularly the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
After completing the MA, I interned with the All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group (PHRG), advertised through the MA course. Here, I assisted a group of Parliamentarians to raise international human rights issues through the UK Parliament. Based in Westminster, this role was very diverse, including managing communications and assisting with advocacy on a wide range of campaigns.
The background in international human rights law gained during the MA has given me a solid understanding of the UN structures as well as legal analysis skills which have been invaluable in my current role at QUNO. More broadly the Masters gave me the theoretical knowledge needed for work in this field, as well as an insight into a wide range of human rights topics and country-specific issues.
Both the PHRG and QUNO positions are fixed term opportunities and I would recommend both very highly as ways to learn about international human rights issues and about using political institutions to effect change.