Khadijah Naeem:

Three exciting years of work on the practical and emotional impact of anti-terrorism legislation had gone by like the blink of an eye and I knew I was ready to pursue my passion through a Masters degree in human rights. I was eager to explore the different areas I could work in and managed to take an array of subject areas during my LLM at Queen Mary, University of London. As my challenging but stimulating year began coming to an end, I pursued work experience where I could put my knowledge and skills in human rights into practice. That’s when I was given the opportunity to successfully apply to the British Institute of Human Rights Summer Internship Programme, which would allow me to gain real insight into the workings of a successful human rights organisation in the UK.

So far during the internship, I have been working on research to assist in the development of an online tool which will translate the Institute’s resources on mental health and capacity into a new website. As someone who is passionate about a rights-based approach to mental health, I am eager to continue working on the Institute’s health and human rights projects. I am also hoping to gain more experience in research, policy and communications work. I love a challenge and I know that at the Institute, I will be given the opportunity to exert and test my skill set.

During my internship, I wanted to get to know the staff at the BIHR, so that I could understand a little better about what it might take to successfully pursue a career in human rights. It has been great that all the staff are so friendly and encouraging. They have even been gracefully willing to answer my numerous questions!

After my internship, I am excited to delve into a career in human rights and I believe the internship at BIHR is giving me the ideal stepping stone.

Bianca Alexandra Patulea:

Hi! My name is Bianca and I am interning with The British Institute of Human Rights this summer. I completed my LLB at University of Southampton and an Erasmus exchange at KU Leuven in Belgium. I also attended Legal Advisers in International Organizations Belgium Conference Series, participated in a Human Rights Advocacy in Practice taught by Human Rights Watch and attended the 69th Session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

It was these experiences that enhanced my desire to pursue a career in human rights and intern in the Protection Unit of the UN Refugee Agency. During this experience, I engaged with government bodies in developing policies that align national practices to international human rights standards. Following my passion for human rights law, I am currently completing an LLM in Human Rights Law at Queen Mary University of London. Alongside my studies, I’ve also interned for REDRESS Trust and UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

I applied for the BIHR internship as I wanted to gain experience in a human rights charity working on domestic human rights issues at national level. I was also attracted by the challenge of working on a project focused on mental health and mental capacity, as this would be a new experience and opportunity to learn. Through this internship, I hope to gain an insight into national work in human rights areas as well as valuable experience in applying the international standards of human rights at national level and further in everyday life and practice.

After completion of the BIHR internship, I will work with The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute and pursue a career as a human rights barrister. I believe the BIHR internship will complement my previous experience on international human rights and give me an insight in national human rights challenges.


BIHR's summer interns are working on our exciting new website to support people with mental health and/or mental capacity issues identify how human rights can help them resolve issues with care and treatment. Find out more about the project here. This project is kindly funded by The Legal Education Foundation