Summer Internship Project Essay example

615 Words Aug 15th, 2011 3 Pages
FINAL (SUMMER) INTERNSHIP REPORT
BY EMMANUEL EKIBA BAGENDA

On secondment by the International Human Rights Program (at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law), I served as an intern with the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) during the summer of 2006. My internship lasted from May to August and, during this time, I worked under the immediate supervision of Mrs Christine Birabwa Nsubuga (who heads the Legal and Tribunals Section of the UHRC) and Mr Remmy Beauregard (who is the UHRC’s Institutional Development Advisor).

Substantive Engagements
The main project on which I worked during the internship was a comparative analysis between the UHRC’s legal framework and that of other national (and provincial) human rights
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Among these was the view that the process by which UHRC commissioners were appointed severely compromised its independence from the executive, as well as concerns regarding the loss of institutional experience (as a result of he concurrent expiration of incumbent commissioners’ tenure).
At the same time, however, the internship was a crucial opportunity to refine many of the Working Group’s initial perceptions by relating them to concrete reality at the UHRC. On a positive note, for instance, it became clear that some of the challenges apparent from the legal framework were, in fact, non-existent in practice. An example of this was the Working Group’s impression that UHRC commissioners had to seek permission from authorities before visiting non-military detention facilities. On a less sanguine note, however, it emerged that many of the challenges noted by the Working Group had earlier been identified by the UHRC itself and that their non-resolution owed less to lack of awareness and more to opposition from the executive.
Despite the complexities, nevertheless, the final report was able to weave these diverse considerations into a comprehensive set of recommendations aimed at strengthening the UHRC’s role in promoting the enjoyment of human rights in Uganda.
In summary, my stint as an intern at the UHRC turned out to be a crucial opportunity to engage with issues at the forefront of the…

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