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작성일 : 13.09.24 | 조회수 : 560

제목 : [Internship] OHCHR Regional Office for South- East Asia 글쓴이 : 국제지역대학원
첨부파일 첨부파일: Internship at OHCHR Regional Office for South East Asia.docx

Internship at OHCHR Regional Office for South- East Asia

Bangkok, Thailand

                                  

After my three semesters of studies in Korea and Costa Rica, I chose to do an internship to enrich my academic experience. The six-month internship turned out to be a great learning opportunity; I familiarized myself with the UN system and gained practical experience and knowledge, which I believe, needed for my future career.

OHCHR, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, is the UN’s primary organ that carries out the work of human rights protection and promotion. The Regional Office for South East Asia where I interned is located in Bangkok, Thailand and covers human rights issues of most of the ASEAN member states.

The office, from the very beginning, let me know that we interns were integral part of the office and the internship should be of mutual benefit. The Human Rights Officers conducted several training sessions from time to time on the UN human rights regime for the interns. I was involved in various jobs in the office while working closely with the supervisor who was the Human Rights Officer in charge of Thailand and Malaysia. I was assigned to research human rights issues, draft reports and analytical papers and assist other officers.

South East Asia faces great human rights challenges. I learned a great deal about the region during the internship; one of the things that I became aware of was the plight of the stateless Rohingya people from Myanmar. The communal violence was at full swing and it was the main focus of the office at the time. The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, who happens to be a professor at University for Peace, paid his official visit to the region and I was lucky to attend various meetings he convened with other UN agencies, both international and local NGOs where the issue was discussed. I witnessed several protests by the Rohingyas outside the United Nations building and saw frustrated Rohingyas when they came to meet with the Human Rights Officers to deliver a petition. The aforementioned incidents definitely gave me a better understanding of the conflict and are good examples of many great learning opportunities I had there.

 Meanwhile, I also realized the shortcomings of a complicated UN system and how “mandate” undermines the urgency of the work needed to be done as the offices operate under a strict mandate.

To make the best of the internship, I also took a three-month French course at the UN Training Center with the permission from the office. I interacted with many interns from all over the world, and was able to develop solid friendships with some of them who had same passion for humanitarian issues.

Undoubtedly, it is critical for someone like me who wishes to become an international servant to get hands-on experience at the UN or other international organizations. I am very happy with my experience at OHCHR, and I feel I benefitted greatly from the internship.







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