I discovered the Centre for Applied Human Rights while researching schools. What caught my eye in particular was the opportunity that CAHR offers to pursue a two-week placement with its NGO partners in Malaysia or York. It’s not a programme of theories, but actual “hands-on” participation. It offers a chance to truly see and learn about the impacts of law.
I decided to take the opportunity to work with the York Travellers Trust because I wanted to learn how the UK NGO sector works. The Trust was established to give the Gypsy & Traveller community the support, guidance and services that they require to develop their independence, so they can maximise their inclusion in society. The Trust requested that my team produce a short paper. Among other things, we explored the legal framework for a possible change in the ownership and/or management by a Housing Agency that the City of York Council had for the three-site management for G&T in York (James Street, Clifton and Osbaldwick).
We were also asked to research good practices in relation to site management across the UK. During the two weeks, three specific topics covered in both lectures and seminars came to my mind. They highlighted theory learned in classes which were applicable to reality: working effectively in teams, project planning and interviewing.
As a human rights lawyer and a public servant, the field study gave me the opportunity to be involved in actual application of law. It brought together researchers, practitioners, and members of organisations who address human rights. This provided me with valuable experience and increased my capacity in the legal profession to deliver services that are focused on increasing access to justice and public policies. I am so glad that I participated in developing an advocacy strategy that examines how public policies can be combined for mutual benefits. I believe that sharing the knowledge I have of the Mexican legal system and policies offered a real contribution to the research we conducted.