Minority Rights Group International (MRG) Deputy Director, Claire Thomas, writes this opinion piece for the Thomson Reuters News Foundation.+ LEARN MORE
Legal Internship (Macedonian speaking, London-based)
Deadline: Friday 3rd August 2018
Place of work: London, UK
Overview of organisation’s mission and activities
Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples worldwide, and to promote cooperation and understanding between communities. MRG’s activities are focused on international advocacy, training, publishing and outreach. MRG is guided by the needs expressed by its worldwide partner network of organisations, which represent minority and indigenous peoples.
MRG works with over 150 organisations in nearly 50 countries. MRG’s governing Council, which meets twice a year, has members from 10 different countries. MRG has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), observer status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and is a civil society organization registered with the Organisation of American States (OAS). MRG is registered as a charity and a company limited by guarantee under English law, registered charity no. 282305, limited company no. 1544957.
More information about MRG activities and work can be found on its website: www.minorityrights.org – click on “Our Work”.
More information about MRG’s legal work: http://minorityrights.org/law-and-legal-cases/
Specific role and responsibilities during the internship:
Currently, MRG is running a 3-year EU-funded project called “From Action to Equal Rights for Roma” in Macedonia. This project seeks to increase the participation of Roma communities in decision-making that affects their lives. Through consultation and cooperation between Roma mediators, civil society organizations (CSOs), national and local authorities and legal bodies, the programme aims to reduce discrimination against Roma and demand recognition and implementation of their basic rights. The project has wide range of activities such as advocacy at the local and national level, strategic litigation, legal empowerment and capacity building. MRG is seeking an intern who would assist the project coordinator with legal tasks related to human rights violations and particularly discrimination faced by the Roma community.
More information on the project:
- Research related to discrimination and other legal cases identified by the Roma mediators in the project
- Assistance with the drafting of submissions and other legal documents
- Administrative and logistical support for the programme coordinator (help to organise trainings and conferences, advocacy trips, etc.)
- Translation of relevant documents from Macedonian to English and vice versa
MRG’s legal interns gain full hands-on experience of the legal work. Full engagement in the research, analysis and drafting of cases is essential. In the past, interns have for example been involved in developing arguments on the Right to Development for an indigenous land rights case against Kenya. These were subsequently argued before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Interns can also expect to have contact with MRG’s partner organisations and with MRG staff in other international offices.
The position will be based in MRG’s London office.
Length of internship
MRG recruits interns for a minimum period of three months, working part time or full time. Usually internships can be extended upon mutual agreement, depending on programme requirements.
Publishing / advocacy and research opportunities
Previous interns have had opportunities to publish original research based on their work at MRG. MRG has published interns’ blogs and photo stories, and assisted interns in publishing academic work and op-eds.
Particular skills necessary for internship
- Knowledge of Macedonian language (Albanian and/or Romani is an advantage)
- Strong research skills on both electronic databases (e.g. HUDOC) and library materials
- Excellent legal writing skills
- Good understanding of Macedonian legal system, domestic and international legislation related to discrimination and human rights
- Good understanding of the domestic (courts, Ombudsman, equality body etc.) and international judicial and quasi-judicial bodies (European Court of Human Rights, UN Treaty Bodies etc.)
- Excellent English knowledge
- Familiarity with economic, social and cultural rights, as well as minority rights and/or indigenous rights (or other proven skills that can add value to the programme).
- Experience working with Roma communities
- Experience working in partnership with human rights or related organisations in the field
Funding/Reimbursement of expenses
This placement is unpaid. However, interns’ expenses are reimbursed upon production of receipts: up to £6/day for lunch, £8/day for travel expenses. MRG regrets that it does not have the resources to assist candidates with search for financial support for this role.
Andrea Spitalszky, Europe Legal Officer
Tel: +36 30 209 2152