Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
Fall 2022 Legal Internship
Position Title: Legal Intern
Start Date: September 2022
Reports to: IJDH Senior Staff Attorneys
The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) is a U.S.-based human rights nonprofit organization that has been promoting human rights in Haiti since 2004. In partnership with its Haiti-based sister organization Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), IJDH advocates, litigates, and nurtures networks of advocates to create systemic pathways to justice for marginalized communities in Haiti. IJDH and BAI advance groundbreaking legal and advocacy work on UN accountability for cholera and for peacekeeper sexual exploitation and abuse, confronting impunity for grave human rights violations and gender-based violence, strengthening Haiti’s justice sector, and promoting accountable and rights-based foreign aid and economic justice.
IJDH and BAI accomplishments include: effectively supporting the prosecution of top military and paramilitary leadership of Haiti's de facto dictatorship in the 2000 Raboteau massacre case, considered one of the most important human rights trials in the Americas, and advocating on behalf of victims in proceedings; supporting the prosecution of former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier for crimes against humanity against the Haitian people and achieving a verdict holding that such crimes are not prescribable under Haitian law; working with victims of the 2010 cholera epidemic in Haiti to litigate and mobilize civil society and government actors in a campaign that compelled the UN to formally apologize, accept responsibility, and commit to a $400 million victim-centered response; and establishing models of networked collaboration that combine grassroots advocacy in Haiti with solidarity networks in the United States and other countries in order to effect change.
IJDH is seeking legal interns on a full- or part-time basis, who are passionate about justice and human rights and are interested in promoting both in Haiti. The Fall Legal Internship is an opportunity for highly motivated law students and recent graduates to work in a fast-paced, creative, and exciting environment on issues affecting human rights in Haiti. Interns are fully integrated into our legal and advocacy team, and work across the full range of IJDH’s activities, including foreign state and non-state actor accountability, monitoring human rights developments in Haiti, and addressing justice sector challenges and impunity.
Interns will work with and be supervised by IJDH attorneys, and can expect to be asked to perform some or all of the following:
Legal research and analysis on a variety of international human rights law topics, including seeking justice for human rights violations by both domestic actors and international entities like the UN, international financial institutions, and corporate actors;
Monitoring and analyzing human rights developments in Haiti, including with respect to justice sector function, women’s empowerment and gender-based violence, democracy and governance challenges, and drivers of insecurity;
Legal and policy advocacy that contributes to the human rights dialogue on issues that impact justice, accountability, and human rights in Haiti, including presentations before human rights bodies within the UN and Inter-American systems, as well as U.S. and other governments;
Drafting legal and advocacy documents, including submissions to human rights proceedings in domestic and international fora, human rights reports, and public advocacy documents;
Developing IJDH’s legal and advocacy strategy, including through engagement with partner organizations and key stakeholders and collaborators;
Outreach that engages international media and the public in IJDH’s legal and advocacy work, including drafting advocacy materials, talking points, and press statements, as well as contributing to social media work;
General project management support.
Due to continuing Covid-related concerns, the internship is expected to be remote.
Current 2L, 3L, or LLM students and recent law graduates;
Demonstrated commitment to human rights and social justice;
Excellent written and oral communication skills in English;
Academic and/or professional experience with international and human rights law;
High level of initiative and self-motivation;
Ability to handle sensitive relationships and protect the confidentiality of our work and our communications;
Strong verbal and written skills in French and/or knowledge of Haitian Creole, as well as Haiti-specific experience, a strong asset; and
Available to work at minimum 20 hours per week (may be negotiable).
Unfortunately, IJDH is unable to offer financial remuneration for this internship. However, IJDH will fully support applicants in seeking academic credit or funding from their law schools or outside programs.
Law students interested in the position of Fall Legal Intern should submit a cover letter, resume, law school transcript, short unedited legal writing sample (preferably on a topic relating to human rights and ideally from past work experience), and contact information for two references as soon as possible. Please send all application materials electronically in one PDF to [email protected] and include “Legal Intern Fall 2022” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until places are filled, so applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications early.
IJDH is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ and gender non-conforming people, and women.
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