Promoting Equal Opportunity for People Entering the Human Rights Sector - Shaza Alalmoni

The Equal Rights Trust provides those at the start of their career in human rights the opportunity to gain essential experience in paid internship and fellowship positions. Through these placements, we are helping to level the playing field so those not able to support themselves financially can break into the sector and advance equality worldwide. In December 2015 we spoke to our former Advocacy and Litigation Intern, Shaza Alalmoni on her experience and thoughts on the scheme.

I am from Syria and I moved to the UK in September 2013, I have a Law Degree from Damascus-Syria University, and an LLM (Master of Laws) in international Human Rights Law from the University of Exeter. Before beginning my internship at the Equal Rights Trust, I worked as a research coordinator with Anat Media Ltd. focusing on projects related to Syria where I carried out need assessments including for local councils established after the Syrian revolution.

What were your main responsibilities during your internship with the Trust?

My internship was focused on advocacy and litigation activities. In terms of advocacy I spent a large amount of time helping to prepare several reports submitted to various UN treaty bodies. I monitored the media to inform the team of news on legal discrimination cases, court decision and general issues, and I also researched national laws in Jordan and Egypt.

How would you describe your internship experience overall?

The internship was a very enriching experience, I learnt a great deal and I could see that my research and writing skills improved after three months of working with the Trust. The team were very nice and my supervisors gave me good guidance and helpful feedback. 

What was particularly valuable about the internship?

I was given a good exposure to a variety of issues and fields of work and the fact that the internship provide a grant was essential for me to be able to support myself in London.

Did the internship help you to find a job in the sector?

My internship played a big role in helping me to find a job. After the placement, I immediately obtained a job as a researcher at Small Media – a non-profit organisation based in London. One of the main requirements for the job was having a good level of research. I also work as a Legal Researcher at the British Institute for International and Comparative law which involves analysing national legislations – another skill I developed during my internship which I am sure helped me to obtain the post.   

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