When did you intern at BIHR?

I interned at BIHR throughout August 2019.

What were you doing before your BIHR internship? 

I interned at BIHR before the final year of my joint-honours LLB in Law with History. Prior to my internship, I was a student scholar at the Mile End Institute, an institute that brought together academics, politicians, policymakers and the public to discuss and debate the major challenges facing the country. During my LLB, I spent three years working as a support team member and student adviser at Queen Mary University's Legal Advice Centre. On the SPITE project, I delivered workshops on preventing image-based abuse and advised victims of 'revenge porn' on their legal rights. After these experiences, I presented research and proposed reforms to legislation that criminalised the sharing of private and sexual images at the British Conference for Undergraduate Research.

What did you do during your BIHR internship?

I joined BIHR at a time when the organisation had just spent over a year working on creating the Know Your Human Rights: Online Advocacy Tool and were ready to roll out the tool for public use. My first job was to identify organisations and stakeholders who could market and use the tool, so that its impact was felt throughout the UK. This market research enabled me to understand the massive scope of the project and how BIHR practically distributed its helpful resources to organisation who, hopefully, would implement systematic change.

BIHR’s website was also going through an overhaul to make it more accessible thus useful to the public. One new feature was to highlight the significant impact BIHR had on organisations and individuals across the UK. During the process of shortlisting 5 stories from hundreds, I gained an appreciation of the various human rights issues in our public institutions (care homes, hospitals, schools, etc.) and how BIHR used the Human Rights Act to address these problems. It was great to see my work reach the public – especially when I wrote an article regarding facial recognition for BIHR’s blog. Not only did I sharpen my skills of expressing complex ideas to the layman, I had quickly learnt to adapt to BIHR’s unique writing style and HRA focus. The most satisfying task was creating an alumni webpage – something I wish I had as a resource when applying to the internship. I contacted the interns, interviewed them, and created the webpages – a task which I hope will leave a lasting impact on the charity’s future interns.

Throughout my internship, I was able to conduct really interesting research on human rights developments, including: issues of forced labour and the government work experience scheme, the police’s policy change after the John Worboys case and the ‘Deaths in Custody’ report by Katie Allan’s family. I wrote case summaries (Darnley v Croydon Health Services 2018 and R (Ngole) v University of Sheffield 2019) and morning news briefs which ensured the BIHR team were informed of the latest human rights news, while honing my ability to summarise key legal issue and expanding the scope of my own awareness of UK human rights issues. My experience working at B&Q came in handy when BIHR moved offices. The move made me appreciate the practicalities of working at a human rights charity!